Airport staff first to respond to fatal Tyler crash - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Airport staff first to respond to fatal Tyler crash

Davis Dickson, Manager of the City of Tyler Airport. Davis Dickson, Manager of the City of Tyler Airport.
Control tower at the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport Control tower at the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Crews inside the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport's control tower were among the first witnesses of Thursday’s crash.

“They saw the airplane do a maneuver and it went down below the horizon," says Davis Dickson, the manager of the City of Tyler Airport, "it really never got to a high altitude and then it appeared that it crashed.” 

Tower operators then went into response mode, using a system within the airport that can alert all the airport staff, along with the police and fire department, immediately.

Related: Family: Pastor killed in plane crash near Tyler airport

“A crash scene would be an alert three, and then the airport begins a response,” says Dickson. “In this case it was kind of a search for the aircraft because it was not on the airport property.”

Airport staff assisted in the search for the fallen aircraft and the initial investigation. They closed the runway in case officials needed to access it, and helped them gain entry to the scene of the crash.

Related: Family shares legacy of plane crash victim

Dickson said the airport staff is saddened by this fatality.

“We train hard for these kind of incidents, and I saw tremendous response and cooperation, working together to make the scene stable,” says Dickson.

Since the investigation has been turned over to the NTSB, most of the airport staff has returned to business as usual. All of the airport's runways are open and no flights have been affected.

The last fatal crash in the area was in November 2000, involving an aerobatic plane that departed from Tyler.

Related: VIDEO: Aerial footage of Tyler plane crash investigation

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