LUBBOCK, Texas — A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board that was made public Tuesday revealed new details about a plane crash in Lubbock County that killed a pilot, Tyler Blake Christie, 26.
The crash was reported at 11:40 a.m. on March 17 near County Road 7300 and 2500.
According to the NTSB report, several passengers from the twin-engine Beechcraft Baron 58 were dropped off at the Lubbock Executive Airpark before the crash.
The NTSB report said a witness told officials that he “saw the pilot of the accident airplane walk around the airplane while talking on a cellular phone prior to the airplane’s engine start.” The witness told investigators that he did not hear or see a run-up of the plane before the takeoff, which was otherwise described as “normal.” A run-up is how pilots double-check the safety of the plane before takeoff.
According to the report, the witness said he looked away after the plane was at least 20 feet above the runway, and then heard an “audible change” in engine sound. The report stated, “The witness then looked up at the airplane and saw it in a left bank.” According to information online, the “bank” is the angle of the wings compared to the ground.
Surveillance video showed the plane in a nose-down, left bank altitude before it entered a left roll and hit the ground, the report said. The plane was destroyed by the impact and fire.
Robert Katz, a commercial pilot and flight instructor with several decades of experience, told EverythingLubbock.com that he believes the NTSB report indicated that the airplane’s left engine failed. Katz said the twin-engine airplane is designed to be capable of flying with one engine, but when an engine fails, it can cause the plane to lose balance. Katz said if the pilot is not able to take the right precautions, the plane could crash.
The most recent deadly plane crash in Lubbock or Lubbock County before this was in October 2020 when an airplane crashed in an alley near 37th Street and Avenue A.
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