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NTSB says there were no prior issues with the plane that crashed in Madisonville

The official final report is expected to be finished within six months to a year.
Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 10:39 PM CDT
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MADISONVILLE, Texas (KBTX) - Tuesday the City of Madisonville and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) held a press conference to discuss the beginning stages of the plane crash investigation.

Investigators say a plane took off from Port Isabel, Texas around 9:30 a.m. on Sunday and crashed just yards away from the Madisonville Municipal Airport runway around midnight Monday.

The impact killed Apolinar Diaz of Kansas City, and injured the five passengers who were all transported to hospitals. Officials say they have no update on their conditions or how they are all related.

NTSB Investigator John Brannen said he arrived at the crash site Monday and finished examining the wreckage Tuesday afternoon.

Brannen says as far as they can tell, there were no prior issues to the plane that caused the crash. He said all passengers, except for the pilot, appeared to be wearing their seatbelts.

“The examination of the airplane focuses on examining the control system, the engine, the different parts of the airplane to see if there were any issues not caused by the impact and we did not find any issues that were existing prior to the impact,” said Brannen. “Based on what we have seen, we didn’t see any deficiencies in the aircraft. The other aspects are pilot, weather, and stuff like that, that we’ll take a look at as the investigation goes on.”

Brannen says the plane was in landing mode when it began to hit trees off Grant Road just south of the airport.

The pilot was not in communication with air control prior to the crash but Brannen says certain airports like Madisonville Municipal Airport do not require it.

The NTSB was unable to give any more information about the pilot Tuesday. They say they’ll check with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to learn more about his history.

According to online records with the FAA, the pilot was not the owner of the plane, but did have the same address as the owner.

Online records show Diaz received his pilots license on May 13, 2010. According to 2019 records, Diaz was told by a doctor that he needed to wear glasses while flying.

Diaz’s license was to fly a single engine, and multi-engine plane.

More information about the pilot, his flight history and record, along with his autopsy and toxicology report will come at a later date according to the NTSB.

Brannen says NTSB will release a preliminary report within five to 10 days. Next, a factual report will be released with a final report to follow within six months to a year.

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