ANAHUAC, Texas – Video obtained Wednesday by KPRC2 showed a cargo plane moments before it crashed Saturday into Trinity Bay.
The video, which was recorded by a security camera at a school in Anahuac, shows only a second of Atlas Air flight 3591. It appeared to be traveling at a steep angle toward the ground.
Witnesses reported hearing loud noises coming from the plane’s engines before it plunged into the water off Chambers County.
The three people aboard the twin-engine Boeing 767 were killed. The bodies of Sean Archuleta and Conrad Aska have been recovered. Human remains believed to belong to the third person have also been found.
Investigators are still searching the wreckage for the aircraft’s so-called black box, which records data that will be used to help determine the cause of the crash.
"The key here is going to be the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder because it will tell the investigators basically what was occurring," said Greg Feith, former National Transportation Safety Board senior air safety investigator.
Search crews dealt with unforgiving elements. Tuesday night's storm shifted the debris.
Wednesday offered a heavy blanket of fog.
Investigators said the focus is now on raking and dredging, searching the waters and bringing out the debris. However, with a powerful plane crashing into shallow duck hunting territory, conditions are less than ideal.
"A lot of that energy is still in the parts, and so it'll drive these parts deep into the bottom of that river bed and so they're going to have to dredge possibly 10-20 feet," Feith said.
Feith said investigators will also consider the human element.
"Pilot records, flight records, talking to flight crews that have flown with these pilots," Feith said.
Feith said the cargo plane, which was built in 1992, should have been fine if it had been properly maintained, but he said malfunctions and maintenance errors do happen, and there is also the possibility of fatigue.
"Fatigue has been a big issue, especially in cargo operations, and the board is very conscious of that --so that's going to be one of the focal areas," Feith said.