Local Pilot Interprets Airplane Wreckage

By: Alex Villarreal Email
By: Alex Villarreal Email

The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating a tragic airplane incident.
What is left behind; the debris and the wreckage help to give an early understanding of what went wrong and what was happening during the victims' final moments.

A long-time pilot gives News 3 his interpretation of the crash site.

"I'm sure it was a very frightening experience," said Jim Joham, a local pilot.

The plane crash that killed five people in northeast Brazos County sends a chill down the spine of 20 year flying veteran, Jim Joham, who describes it as a "terrible situation."

Joham said, "Because the airplane was scattered over a very large area, the fact that it impacted could not have caused all those extra pieces to be three-quarters of a mile away, or more, therefore it had to have broken up in flight."

The plane encountered some turbulent weather and ended up crashing around 10 p.m. Monday night, but according to flight experts, thunderstorms are not usually capable of ripping apart an airplane.

"It's the loss of control and the loss of visibility which causes the pilot to become disoriented and there's too much turbulence to keep the plane straight and level and then it ends up upside down and going into a dive," Joham said.

You can see part of a wheel and seats from inside the plane lying in the grass.

Joham added, "The fact that the airplane is tumbling around out of control, is not what is fatal, it's when the airplane strikes the ground uncontrolled, that's when it becomes fatal."

Every pilot makes judgement calls when they are in the air, but Joham says this wreckage adds to his strong feelings of not flying at night.

"No matter what the cause is, it renews my personal desire to keep my eyes open, be that much more careful to not get myself in that kind of trouble," said Joham.

We'll post updates to this developing story as they become available.

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