Investigation Continues Into Fatal Bristow Airplane Crash

Monday, March 1st 2010, 6:08 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

BRISTOW, OK -- The National Traffic Safety Board and the FAA are investigating what caused a plane to crash, killing two people on board.

The crash happened at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday near the Bristow airport.

A spokesman with the WN Couch construction company confirmed their president, Allen Couch, died in the crash.

Investigators have not identified the other victim.

Investigators say identifying the victims has been made more challenging because of the intense fire when the plane slammed to the ground.

Monday at the airport in Bristow, it was quiet -- almost an eerie stillness. The wreckage of the downed plane remains and so do the many questions. Talk is turning from what happened and how it happened, to why? Who were the two people killed? Where were they from and headed?

"They must have hit at a pretty good pace," said David Fisher who is a Bristow pilot.

Just before the plane clipped some power lines Sunday afternoon, a witness says the pilot appeared to abort a landing and banked to the west.

"Our runway runs North and South," said Mark Harman, Bristow Airport Caretaker.

The plane hit the lines, slammed to the ground, and caught fire, killing the two people on board.

"They never knew what happened," said Harman.

Once he heard what happened, Harman worried it would be someone he knows.

"We don't get a whole lot of traffic coming in and out of this little airport," said Harman.

He discovered the plane wasn't from the Bristow Airport. Federal authorities say the plane departed from Riverside Airport in Tulsa for a pleasure flight.

"The plane is so messed up, you can't tell what kind of aircraft it was," said Fisher.

Investigators later determined it's a single-engine Beechcraft Sierra. 

The NTSB will look into whether the crash was caused by a mechanical problem or pilot error. The preliminary report should be released in a couple of weeks.

2/28/2010  Related Story: Two Killed In Plane Crash At Bristow Airport