Jack Bryant, 20, of Midlothian passed away from injuries connected to a plane crash that took place on Friday afternoon.
The crash occurred at 3:14 p.m. at the Mid-Way Regional Airport in Midlothian. Bryant was a student pilot on board the plane along with his flight instructor Michael M. Dick, 70, of Mansfield.
Emergency crews responding to the airport called for a helicopter and set up a landing zone at the airport. A PHI Air Medical helicopter transported Bryant to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. He later passed away at the hospital. Bryant is a 2014 graduate of Midlothian High School and was a sophomore at Texas A&M University at the time of his passing.
Dick was transported by ground ambulance to Methodist Mansfield Medical Center. According a press release from the Texas Department of Transportation on Saturday, he was listed in stable condition. The airport was closed Friday afternoon to any air and ground traffic. Responding to the scene were members of the Waxahachie and Midlothian fire and police departments as well as DPS.
Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the accident. Tom Latson, an NTSB aircraft accident investigator based in Houston, is leading the investigation. At this time, Latson said he has been able to determine that the airplane was taking off at the time of the accident.
"The airplane was taking off to the north on the first flight for these two pilots. This was an instructional flight. The flight instructor had previous flown that day with another person, had landed and was picking up another person for flight instruction,” Latson said. “I have talked with several persons that were direct active eyewitnesses when the airplane crashed. They just described what they saw. The airplane was on takeoff to the north and became airborne off the runway. It climbed to an altitude of less than 100 feet above ground and impacted terrain in a nose down attitude to the left of the runway coming to rest with the nose oriented to the southeast.”
The investigation is still on going. The preliminary report is set to be completed by Wednesday and the final report is estimated to take around six months to a year before it is complete. Latson arrived at the airport at 10 p.m. Friday.
“I went to the accident scene the next morning and was joined by another engineering investigator from the NTSB office in Washington and another investigator from the engine manufacturer joined me,” Latson said. “The FAA inspectors from the Dallas North Texas Flight Standards District Office had responded on the day previous and did the initial wreckage documentation. Waxahachie Police Department and Texas DPS secured the wreckage over night. They were at the scene when I arrived on Saturday morning.”
Latson said he did thorough documentation and the wreckage diagram. The airplane had crashed on the west end of the runway less than a quarter of a mile from the terminal building. The wreckage was then moved to a more secure spot at the airport.
“I did an assessment of the flight controls and the damage to the airplane wreckage. I also did a teardown examination of the engine and will further examine the aircraft next week. The wreckage has been moved from the Mid-Way Airport to a secure storage location in the Dallas Fort Worth area,” Latson said. “I interviewed the witnesses and family members that were present. I also interview the surviving pilot.”
He also completed a weather check and will complete thorough medical history studies on both pilots. The information will be included in the factual report when it is released. Latson said he would also be reviewing security camera footage that captured the accident.
According to the FAA Registry website, the airplane involved in the accident is a 1979 two-seater, fixed-wing, single-engine plane, manufactured by Bellanca. Anyone who might have witnessed the accident is asked to contact the NTSB at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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