|None survive Tahoe plane crash
A closer look
It will take months before the National Transportation Safety Board comes up with a probable cause of the crash.
Basic preliminary reports usually are posted on the NTSB’s website within a week or two of an accident.
8 p.m. update:
A single-engine airplane crashed shortly after takeoff late Saturday from a South Lake Tahoe airport, killing more than one.
“We have multiple victims and we haven’t been able to identify them yet because of the fire,” said Lt. Pete Van Arnum of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities weren’t saying how many victims they thought died in the crash.
The Piper PA-32-301T is registered to Francisco J. De La Mora of Fresno, Calif., according to the Federal Aviation Administration registry information.
De La Mora took a “personal trip” to Lake Tahoe for the day Saturday with his wife, Lorena, a 7-year-old daughter and two friends and had planned to return the same day, said Jose Lopez, a dispatcher for Jdm Transport Inc., a Fresno, Calif. trucking company owned by Delamora.
The plane took off from Lake Tahoe Airport about 9:50 p.m. Saturday.
Witnesses heard what sounded like engine problems with the airplane and while trying to turn it dipped and hit the ground in a meadow east of Winnemucca Avenue, the sheriff’s office said in a statement. It started a fire which took about 90 minutes to put out.
The 23rd annual Lake in the Sky Air Show was held Saturday, at Lake Tahoe Airport, but the plane was not affiliated with the show, the city said in a statement.
“Our hearts go out to the families of those that perished in this tragic accident,” Mayor Claire Fortier said in a statement. “Thanks to the quick and cooperative efforts by multiple agencies; the fire caused by this crash was put out quickly.”
This same aircraft was involved in a non-injury crash on March 5, 2005, in Destin, Fla., according to the National Transportation Safety Board accident database. The aircraft was registered at that time to MS Risk Services Inc. of Jackson, Miss.
The airplane was rolling down the runway to take off and after about 700 feet and a speed of 81 mph when the airplane swerved to the left and crashed, the NTSB reported. Neither the passenger nor the pilot was injured but the aircraft received substantial damage, the NTSB reported.
The cause of the 2005 accident, the NTSB said, was: “The pilot’s inadequate compensation for wind during a crosswind takeoff resulting in a loss of directional control and subsequent collision with terrain.”
– Martin Griffith of the Associated Press contributed to this story