An investigation is underway after a fiery plane crash near Pearland. The Federal Aviation Administration believes only the pilot was on board a Beechcraft King Air when it crashed while trying to land at Pearland Regional Airport.
Witnesses told investigators the plane took a nose dive and crashed in a field, bursting into flames. The crash happened Wednesday morning in an oil field on Hasting Field Road North (CR 413) west of South Main (SH 35) while a work crew was unloading a chemical tank less than 100 feet away.
"I just heard the motor revving up real bad and I just looked up and it hit the ground and blew up," said Sgt. Craig Cummings, with the Department of Public Safety.
The impact sent mud and debris flying onto their work truck. After making sure everyone on the ground was OK, the witnesses tried to put out the fire.
"We got the extinguisher out and we started to extinguish the fire and then another blast came. We knew right away there were no survivors," said the witness.
The FAA says preliminary information indicates the twin-engine plane left Austin and was heading to Galveston Scholes Airport, but the pilot diverted to Pearland because of low visibility.
Investigators say the plane crashed about two miles away from Pearland Regional, as the pilot made a second landing attempt.
"What we do know is that witnesses have said to this point is that the aircraft had passed the runway and was trying to land again," Sgt. Cummings said.
We're told the fuselage of the plane ended up buried four feet in the ground, and before emergency crews could search for survivors, they had to put out the fire.
The FAA said the National Transportation Safety Board was advised and it will now be handling the investigation.
Authorities believe the pilot was the only person on the plane.