Small plane crashes in rural Texas; two dead -

Small plane crashes in rural Texas; two dead

ELLIS COUNTY — The Texas Department of Public Safety reports a plane crashed in rural Ellis County on Sunday morning, killing two people.

FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said the single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza went down about 10:45 a.m. in a field near the town of Rankin. He said the aircraft was destroyed in a fire that followed the crash.

DPS spokesman Trooper Lonny Haschel said the crash site was near the intersection of County Road 984 and Gorman Road, about 10 miles southwest of Ennis.

He said state troopers found the wreckage on fire in a field, and that the two occupants on board were killed. Their identities have not been confirmed.

Haschel said witnesses saw the 38-year-old aircraft leveling off as if to attempt an emergency landing, but the plane then appeared to stall before crashing into a tree.

The aircraft was flying from Greenville to Lakeway Airpark, about 35 miles southwest of Austin. That's where the plane was registered and hangared.

The manager of the small, private airport said everyone was in shock.

William Stokes, a retired pilot who lives across from Lakeway Airpark, described what it's like. "It's not a commercial airport," he said. "We don't have facilities here to maintain other people's airplanes. Folks that have airplanes here have to take them off to have them worked on or have a mechanic come here."

The National Transportation Safety Board will have a team on site Monday morning to investigate.

KVUE reporter Heather Kovar at Lakeway Airpark contributed to this report.

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