Mack Murfree was test flying this plane for Mike, when he apparently suffered a loss of power and crashed into a house off the end of the North Las Vegas airport. Here’s a brief news account.
(NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nevada) — An experimental plane taking off from North Las Vegas Airport crashed into a home, killing the pilot and two people inside the house. Investigators are now sifting through the wreckage to figure out why the plane went down.
The plane exploded on impact, leaving a massive hole in the home near Lake Mead Blvd. and Simmons. Two of the three victims of the crash were living in that home. The pilot was also killed.
The family who lived in the house had three residents. One wasn’t home and escaped injury.
Witnesses to North Las Vegas Plane Crash Speak Out
The crash happened just before 6:30 this morning. Authorities say the pilot in the Velocity 173 RG aircraft wasn’t gaining altitude after taking off.
The plane was an experimental aircraft that had just five hours of flying time. The tower noticed it was not gaining altitude and radioed the pilot. The pilot then called back saying he was going down. Investigators are looking for clues to the cause to the cause of the crash.
“The flames shot up, I would say 25, maybe 30 feet above the house,” said eyewitness Charles Maggio.
SLIDESHOW: Plane Crashes Into North Las Vegas Home
Eyewitnesses actually heard the plane before they saw the fireball. “I heard the engine — you hear these engines all the time. As soon as you hear the engine, I know it was in trouble,” said eyewitness James Guiry.
Guiry had just walked out his front door to take his dog for a walk. He says the plane quickly dipped out of sight. By the time he was close enough to see the house, North Las Vegas Police were already there.
“The cop was busting the window. He could not get in that window. I could see the image of this woman,” he said.
One person managed to get out of the house, but later died at the hospital. Another person in the house and the pilot died on impact.
Aviation Director Calling for Reforms
The experimental plane had just taken off and had about 75 gallons of fuel on board. North Las Vegas Fire Chief Al Gillespie says that created the intense fire, “This one would be the equivalent to having a large SUV crash into the house with a large fuel tank at a high rate of speed.”
It has left shock in the neighborhood, especially for Lisa Johnson, “It’s just thinking that you live next to an airport. You never think that you would wake up with a plane in our house. It’s really sad.”
The parts of the plane will be taken away and combed over to see if there was any type of malfunction. The NTSB will take several months before determining the exact cause of the crash.
| FAA | NTSB Final | News |
|Mack in happier times, at the 2008 Velocity BBQ||The crash site|
|The crash site, other side||Mack was probably trying to reach the street|
Posted By: Brett FerrellFriday August 22nd, 2008 at 9:14 AM