Plane Crash Victim Had Just Turned 50

Tuesday, March 20th 2007, 7:59 am
By: News On 6

MARIETTA, Okla. (AP) Bobbie Blanchard was supposed to meet members of his family for a belated celebration of his 50th birthday.

But the Arlington, Texas, man never returned from a trip with a group of businessmen.

Blanchard died Saturday when the plane in which he was riding crashed on a catfish restaurant landing strip and burst into flames.

Theresa Blanchard says she wondered why she hadn't heard from her son. He was to contact her and her daughter after returning from a trip to the popular seafood dining destination, McGehee Catfish Restaurant.

Investigators believe the twin-engine Beech 58 airplane's landing gear malfunctioned. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash.

The 34-year-old pilot, Michael Phillips, was flown by medical helicopter to Dallas for treatment. Thirty-six-year-old Calvin Carter was taken to a Marietta hospital for treatment and released. Both are from Dallas. Another passenger, 41-year-old Roger Burke, wasn't hurt.