Two East Texas Men Die In A Fiery Plane Crash In Dallas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1//1/04- Dallas

Two East Texas Men Die In A Fiery Plane Crash In Dallas

An otherwise quiet New Year's day was disrupted in an instant in Dallas, with a loud bang, then a ball of flames. Officials say an East Texas doctor died when his plane crashed around ten o'clock Thursday morning. 59 year old Doctor David Knowles, of Lindale, died after the single-engine plane he was piloting plunged into a North Dallas neighborhood. It set two houses on fire. The passenger in the plane was 55 year old David Moore of Jacksonville. He was also killed.

According to investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board, the pilot of the 1975 model Bellanca, Doctor Knowles, got a weather briefing and then took off from Madison airport at 9:57 AM New Year's morning. Investigator's say the weather was 100 foot ceiling and less than a mile visibility. It was also misty. They say, "Aircraft fly all the time in weather conditions like this, if the aircraft is properly instrumented."

But investigators say about five minutes later, Doctor Knowles, radioed the tower that he had lost his instrument panel. He then disappeared from the radar. Officials say without a panel in this type of weather, flying is extremely difficult. The investigator adds, "You don't have anything to look at, if you're in a cloud. The only thing you can rely on is an artificial horizon within your aircraft. It is not hard to become disoriented."

Officials say moments later, the plane came straight down in a North Dallas neighborhood clipping a vacant house first, then landing in a garage of a second house across the street. The one alarm fire turned into a four alarm requiring 80 firefighters to control the blaze before it spread. They say, "It was a very intense fire, it was rapidly spread because of the fuel. We estimate 40 or 50 gallons of fuel it created a strong intense fire."

Investigators say Doctor Knowles and David Moore were headed to Amarillo, but were never able to make it out of the metroplex.

No one on the ground was hurt, although, a disabled resident of one house had to be rescued by his caregiver. Authorities are still looking into what caused the crash.

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