HOUSTON, Texas – Newly released security video captures the moment a plane falls from the sky and smashes a parked car in the parking lot of a local business. The single-engine plane crashed after failing to make a second landing attempt at Houston’s Hobby Airport on Thursday.
The pilot of the Cirrus SR-20 single engine plane was attempting to land at Hobby airport after completing a 3-hour flight from Norman, Oklahoma. While fixed based operators in Norman confirmed to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that the plane had been “topped off” with fuel prior to takeoff, there was no evidence of a fuel spill at the scene of the crash, the Houston Chronicle reported.
NTSP Investigator Tom Latson told reporters at a press conference on Friday that there should have been about two hours of fuel on board at the time of the crash. The aircraft holds about 56 gallons of general aviation fuel and burns about 11.6 gallons per hour, according to Flying Magazine. That would mean there should have been about twenty gallons of fuel on board. Latson said the plane’s fuel tanks were ruptured in the crash, but no fuel was seen to be spilled.
The plane appears to literally fall from the sky in a flat spin and smashed a car parked in the parking lot of an Ace Hardware Store located near the airport. Latson told reporters that witnesses “saw the plane bank to the left and impact at the 6800 block of Telephone [Road].” He said the security video showed the plane was “relatively wing-level, relatively nose-level and spinning counterclockwise to the left,” the Houston Chronicle reported.
The pilot had been instructed twice to execute a go-around procedure by air traffic controllers at Hobby. Following the first wave-off, the pilot was instructed to make a left turn and land on Runway 35. “During that second approach to runway 35, the pilot was again instructed to go around because the pilot appeared to be too high,” Latson said.
The aircraft had flown for about three hours. Maximum fuel range for the aircraft is listed at 4 hours, including a 45-minute reserve Flying Magazine stated.
This model of aircraft is equipped with a BRS whole recovery parachute system, the magazine reported. The system is designed to lower the entire aircraft safely to the ground in the event of an engine failure or other catastrophic failure of the aircraft. BRS Aviation’s website lists the names of people who have been saved by this advancement in aviation safety.
Latson said the system had not been deployed in this crash. He did not release any information about the pilot’s flying record or training. He said they will be reviewing digital information retrieved from the crash.
The pilot and his passengers were identified via a Facebook post from Thunder Valley Raceway Park, located in Noble, Oklahoma, the Houston Chronicle reported. They were listed as pilot Tony Gray, his wife Dana and his brother Jerry.
No one on the ground was injured in the crash. The video shown above shows two people walking near the crash site just seconds before the impact. The aircraft also missed a large propane tank located near the impact site. The car the aircraft crashed onto was completely destroyed.