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Plane Crash Investigation

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - NTSB investigators are giving facts about Thursday's plane crash in Richwood.

The muddy part of the woods off of 165 in Richwood, is where the single engine Beechcraft airplane crash on Thursday.

NTSB Air Safety Investigator, Stuart Bothwell, says "it literally took us until noon yesterday to remove the aircraft to the point where we could start doing our investigation."

Bothwell, says the plane left Beaumont Texas at 12:25 Thursday heading for the Monroe Regional Airport.

The pilot had a missed approach due to problems with the landing gear.

Bothwell says, "the last speed depicted before radar contact was lost was greater than 200 knots, the normal approach speed for the Beachcraft Bonanza is 120 knots."

Witnesses told investigators the plane was coming down at a vertical angle, and they only saw it for a short time.

Bothwell says, "the way to describe this was the plane was coming to the ground at a vertical descent."

He says there was a small fire after the plane crash, but was put out by the Monroe Fire Department and Ouachita Parish Fire Department.

The pilot of the plane was 31 year old, Mason Mauldin, who was a commercial and instructor pilot.

Bothwell says, "he has a first class medical certificate that was dated on 5-13-2008 with no limitations."

Since Mauldin's medical certificate hasn't been updated since 2008; according to the FAA, that would have made him invalid to pilot commercial flights.

However, it is not known or even suspected that, that had any connection at all to the crash.

Bothwell says, "obviously we'll look at the pilots certificate very closely and the his total time and hours."

Mauldin had a total of 410 total flying hours.

Bothwell says a preliminary report will be complete in the next few days, but determining the exact cause could take up to a year.


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