Pilot dead after mid-air plane collision
WALKER COUNTY, TX (KTRK) -- Federal Aviation Administration officials Saturday were investigating a fatal mid-air plane collision in Walker County.
Officials said two home-built planes collided around 11:45am over the northern part of Lake Conroe off F.M. 1375 at Stubblefield Lake Rd.
The pilots involved in the crash are part of a Conroe-based flight club that practices formations every week. But on Saturday, something went tragically wrong.
Hunter Strole witnessed the mid-air collision from his backyard.
"It looked pretty bad. There was smoke everywhere, and it was bad," Strole said.
Investigators say the wrecked plane and another single-engine plane were flying formations with five other pilots out of Lonestar Airport in Conroe when one plane clipped the other.
"They were doing stunts, just like flying in a 'V,' and the back plane came up, hit the front plane and it just fell out of the sky like a rock," Strole said.
The planes clipped and there was a fire in the air, witnesses said. Two planes went down. One was engulfed in flames.
The pilot of the plane that caught fire died in the crash. He was later identified as 69-year-old Dennis Williams of Montgomery.
The other pilot was losing fuel. He was able to land his damaged plane.
"One plane crashed in a small pond. The other plane crashed in the National Forest," Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Eric Burse said.
The surviviing pilot walked out with burns on one of his arms.
"He had a burned arm on his right side, I think. But he looked fine. He was just really shaken up," Strole said.
The FAA is looking into this fatal crash to better determine what led up to the accident.
local, demond fernandez
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