NTSB issues update on investigation into fiery Waller County plane crash

The National Transportation Safety Board released details Wednesday into what happened when an MD-87 jetliner overran the runway at Houston Executive Airport in Brookshire, Texas following a rejected takeoff. (NTSB)

BROOKSHIRE, Texas – The National Transportation Safety Board released details Wednesday into what happened when an MD-87 jetliner overran the runway at Houston Executive Airport in Brookshire, Texas following a rejected takeoff.

On Oct. 19, in its first flight since December of 2020, the jetliner skidded off the runway and crashed. All 23 people on board were able to walk away minutes before the plane was engulfed in flames.

The plane was headed to Boston for the American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox.

According to NTSB, the airplane overran the end of Runway 36, went through the airport perimeter fence and power lines, and came to rest about 1,400 feet beyond the end of the runway. Two passengers were seriously injured and one received minor injuries.

A significant post-crash fire consumed the fuselage and destroyed most of the aircraft.

In the tail section, which was relatively undamaged by fire, investigators found that the airplane’s left and right elevators were jammed in a trailing edge down position; neither elevator could be moved when manipulated by hand.

Both inboards actuating cranks for both elevator’s geared tabs were bent outboard, and their respective links were bent. Both actuating cranks and links were found locked in an over-center position beyond their normal range of travel. The elevators, horizontal stabilizer, and control tabs have been retained by the NTSB for further examination.

KPRC 2 learned that James Alan Ken owned the aircraft.

Kent was also a passenger on the aircraft at the time of the crash but was not flying the plane, according to reports.

Kent is a successful land developer and homebuilder in the Houston area, and a lifetime board member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. According to an employee of his development company, he has loved planes for a long time and owns a couple of them.

Kent released the following statement after the accident:

“Thankfully, everyone used the emergency slides to exit and make it to safety before a fire consumed the plane. After the fire, the plane became a complete loss, but we are blessed no one was seriously hurt.”

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Mother of two. Award-winning lover of digital storytelling, sparked by my fascination of being a fashionable gossip like my favorite "Willona Woods" character from "Good Times." On the serious side, president of the Houston Association of Black Journalists and dedicated community servant. Happy to share the news with you each and every day!