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Pilot identified in deadly small plane crash near West Houston Airport

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – The pilot who was killed after a small plane crashed Thursday into a muddy field in west Harris County has been identified, officials said.

The man has been identified as 69-year-old Calvert James Waller.

Investigators are working to determine what caused the crash.

A fellow pilot said the plane Waller was flying hadn't had a valid registration for more than 10 months.

Officials said the Mooney M20 plane he was flying crashed in a field near a subdivision off Kieth Harrow Boulevard.

According to the other pilot, Waller's plane had become a collision hazard for several other airplanes. 

Officials said the initial call came in about 4:15 p.m. about a low-flying plane in the area. Officials said it's too early to tell if weather was a factor in the crash.

VIDEO: See the wreckage from above with a look from our Drone2

"We don't think anybody survived. There was significant damage to the airplane when it went down," said Capt. David Padovan, public information officer with the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department. "Now, we're turning over the scene to DPS (Department of Public Safety) and the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) for their investigation."

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the plane crashed into a wooded area near an open field near the intersection of Westerpine Lane and Blossom Berry Court. Gonzalez said the plane almost crashed into homes in the area.

 

 

Officials said the plane struck power lines in the area on the way down, causing power to go out in an adjacent neighborhood.

"He tried to nose up to avoid that. Powered up and then stalled and went nose-first into the ground," said Sgt. Richard Standifer, with DPS. "I can only imagine if he lost it there he would have been in somebody's house for the first few streets in the subdivision."

Officials said power was restored around 9:45 p.m.

The crash was nearly much worse.

"We're right at the end of the subdivision. The plane crashed about 150 to 200 yards into the field right behind the subdivision," Padovan said.

He said the plane was a small, four-seat aircraft.

 

It is not clear if the plane was coming to or leaving from a Houston airport. Officials said they believe the plane left from an airport in El Paso. The crash happened near West Houston Airport, officials said.

Officials said the ground was muddy where the plane crashed, and the fuselage of the aircraft was lodged in the ground.

Neighbors who saw that plane as it was going down couldn't believe what they were witnessing.

"It happened so fast. I was just like, 'Was that what I thought it was?' It was really close," Ariane Cook said.

Anthony Torres heard the plane crash and feared for his family and his neighbors.

"It's sad. It's kind of scary, too, because it could hit anybody's house," Torres said.

Officials provided updates at the scene shortly after the crash. Watch the video below:

A map of the area is below:


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