Winds and engine failure suspected in plane crash

Published: Nov. 14, 2011 at 3:04 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 14, 2011 at 4:14 AM CST
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LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV)- A routine landing went wrong, and investigators are looking into the possibility that mechanical failure and wind conditions may have caused a twin engine plane to crash in east Texas. The pilot was attempting to land the plane Saturday afternoon at the Gladewater airport when the crash happened. The Cessna 401-A piloted by Timothy Taylor of Alabama, veered off the runway on a landing, spun backwards and slid through brush for over 100 yards, tearing off the nose section, injuring all on board.

"Several people a total of 5 him and 4 passengers, looked like the pilot had a broken finger," said state trooper James Ammon.

Passengers say the right engine failed just before landing. The landing gear appeared not to be down.

"Its on its belly right now," Ammon says.

"It probably will be take some time anywhere between 3 weeks to 4 weeks before anything is determined," says FAA spokesman Roland Herwig.

But there was another factor at the time. Fellow pilots say that there was a swirling wind and Taylor may have picked up a cross wind or a tail wind that threw his landing off.

"We are taking everything into account in an investigation like this, what were doing is looking at the aircraft , the crew the environment weather conditions , everything will be looked at," Herwig says.

Pilots who know Taylor say , even an experienced pilot can be surprised by sudden gusts.

"It could have been a tailwind at the time because of the gusts, he had a direct crosswind," said one pilot at the Gladewater airport.

Taylor and his 4 passengers were all taken to local hospitals. Taylor was treated and released from the hospital. The conditions of the others who were hospitalized has not been released. Investigators with the NTSB are expected to be at the crash site tomorrow.

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