Three people die in south Tulsa plane crash

Tuesday, August 17th 2004, 5:47 pm
By: News On 6

Federal investigators are on the scene of a fatal plane crash in Jenks. Officials say three people were killed when the Cessna 210 went down just after 5 PM Tuesday in a neighborhood a few blocks from the Jones-Riverside Airport.

Investigators tell News on 6 reporter Heather Lewin, the plane apparently lost oil pressure shortly after take off and the pilot was trying to head back to the airport.

Witnesses say they heard a loud popping noise just before the plane slammed into the ground and burst into flames, killing two adults and a child on board. "About 500 feet above the ground I saw the plane barrel rolling, I wasn't sure if he was crashing, I thought he was performing some acrobatic or something like that, but it just continued spiraling straight down." When the Cessna hit the ground and exploded, Tim O'Toole, who witnessed the crash says he rushed in to try and help. “Ran back to the plane, it was completely engulfed already. I tried to get into the cockpit but at that point it was already collapsed, honestly I didn't even see anybody inside the cockpit the flames were so intense at that point."

Fire crews were able to douse the flames, but there was no hope of finding survivors in the charred wreckage. The plane went down less than a mile from the runway, crashing into a neighborhood near 91st and Elwood, amazingly missing these homes.

No one on the ground was hurt, but for those who witnessed the tragedy, the image will be difficult to forget. "It was almost surreal; you see something like that on the news or a newsreel but you don't really realize what's happening. Until I actually saw the fireball it just didn't seem real to me.”

Investigators are not yet releasing the names of the victims. They say no flight plan was filed. The pilot was apparently communicating with the control tower when the plane crashed.