Audio surfaces from plane crash - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; |

Audio surfaces from plane crash

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NOTE:  The audio from the Air Traffic Control Tower comes from

MONROE, La (KNOE 8 News) – KNOE has uncovered audio from inside the cockpit of the plane. The pilot, Ray Martin, knew something was wrong and called the tower for an emergency landing.

Martin was taking his Beechcraft Bonanza for a test flight before it crashed along Desiard Street in Monroe.

Martin: "Monroe, I've got to land, I've got a fuel problem."

Tower: "Runway 1-8 Clear to land."

Martin: "Straight in 1-8- clear to land."

Tower: "Hold short Runway 188 for 5087."

Martin calmly explains to the Monroe Airport Tower that he believes he can land the plane safely.

Tower: "Coming in - do you need any assistance?"

Martin: "No Sir, I don't think so."

But in just a matter of minutes that tone changes as hope of reaching the airport dwindles.

Martin: "Monroe, I don't think this is going to make it, I'm going to slide over." 

Yet Martin never loses his focus flying the aircraft.

Tower: "How many people to do you got on the plane?"

Martin: "Just me and I'm fixing to hit the trees right now."

Then there silence.

Nearly two minutes go by without word from Martin's plane. And that's when the tower and other pilot's became concerned.

Another Pilot: "Monroe 3, Victor Bravo - Do you need us to go find this guy, it sounds like he went down in the trees."

Tower: “Yes Sir, He went down behind the trees, we can't see anything from the tower if you don't mind could you go that direction and see what's going on?"

Another Pilot: “Can you see the McDonald's Arches from where you're at? The water tower is out that direction?”

Another Pilot: “I have the water tower.”

Another Pilot: “Right over there, just south of that water tower.”

Another Pilot: “I have the water tower, also I have the antenna in sight.”

Another Pilot: “Okay, thank you.”

Another Pilot: “It went off over that dirt pile there. It's on the other side of those trees over there.”

Another Pilot: “What's going on out there?”

Another Pilot: “Just had a Bonanza that didn't make it all the way to the runway.”

Without being able to visually see the plane another pilot looking for Martin's plane was being guided by the tower.

Tower: “He's going to be just north of the trees just before you get to the airport.”

Tower:  “Victor Bravo, It should be right out over and low, maybe right out a half mile over your right wing.”

Tower:  “Because he turned in right over towards 1-8, it should be right over his flight path.”

Tower:  “He was just on the other side of the trees when he, when he went in.”

Tower: “Can you see the yellow McDonald's Arches?

Another Pilot: “Yes Sir.”

Tower: “It looks like it's just this way towards the airport from the McDonald's arches, about half way between these trees and the McDonald's Arches.”

And the news from the air never got any better.

Another Pilot: “Did he make the field or do you think he went into the trees?”

Tower: “He said he was going in the trees but we couldn't tell from the tower.”

Tower: Could you see anything in trees or parking lot or anything?

Another Pilot: “Okay, we've got him. He's going to be on the road right there.”

Another Pilot: “Okay he's upside down right there in the parking lot of McDonald's, we have no fire, we can't tell if there are any injuries but there are medical vehicles on the scene.”

Tower: “Was he able to land at that McDonald's there? Did he get on the ground properly?”

Another Pilot: “No he was upside down.”

Tower: “That's about what I was thinking too, I don't think he made it.”

Another Pilot: “No fire though, that probably means there was no fuel.”

Martin was pulled from the wreckage and taken to the LSU hospital in Shreveport.

48 hours later, there is no sign of any plane crash.

The wreckage was cleaned up earlier on Wednesday after the FAA gathered its evidence for an investigation into the cause of the crash.

At last check, Martin was listed in stable condition.
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