Airplane Crash Injures 5 People

Thursday, June 1st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A pilot driving his car along Riverside saw the single engine Piper airplane in trouble early Thursday morning. Tulsa Police officer Lucky Lamons says "and he started to hear the airplane sputter. So, he knew that something was wrong. What he said happened is when it was flying low down Riverside drive. The pilot started following the lights." The only lights along the south end of Riverside are above the jogging track...the plane came down through the trees and right next to the track. Authorities say Max Cheatham of Peyton, Colorado was in the pilot seat of his father's plane. His brother, Eric an OSU flight instructor in Tulsa was in the co-pilot seat, but also manning the controls. Eric's three young children were in the back. Investigators say having an expert witness, like the pilot who saw the crash, will help answer the questions a little faster. Tulsa firefighter Fred Chambers, says "it could be a fuel problem, could be electrical. It's probably engine related. And that just guides them in the investigation and speeds up the process." Authorities say three people are in critical condition after their airplane crash-landed on a nearby jogging path. The four-seat Piper had just taken off from Jones Riverside Airport en route to Colorado Springs, Colorado, when it crashed around 2 AM. The plane went down on a River Parks jogging path about a mile from the airport. Eric Cheatham's three children were hospitalized at a Tulsa hospital. 7 year old Allison was in critical condition. 4 year old Bryce and 5 year old Brittney are both in good condition.