Ten people died in a Texas plane crash shortly after 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 30, 2019. The Beechcraft Super King Air 350 crashed moments after takeoff from an airport in Addison, Texas. The small plane, which was on its way to St. Petersburg, Florida, rolled to the left and crashed into an unoccupied private hangar, where it burst into flames. Everyone on the plane was killed.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Vice Chair Bruce Landsberg, the airport tower cleared the plane to take off one minute before the end of the cockpit voice recording. About eight seconds before the recording ends, a crew member can be heard making a comment regarding an issue with the left engine. Three seconds before the recording ends, automated alerts about the plane’s bank angle are heard.
Texas Plane Crash Victims Identified
Officials identified the victims as:
- Hale Cassady, 71, pilot
- Matthew Palmer, 28, co-pilot
- Stephen Lee Thelen, 58
- Gina Thelen, 57
- Brian Mark Ellard, 53
- Ornella Ellard, 45
- Alice Maritato, 15
- Dylan Maritato, 13
- John Titus, 61
- Mary Titus, 60
The Catholic Diocese of Dallas said Ornella Ellard was married to Brian Ellard and was the mother of Alice and Dylan Maritato.Family friends told reporters the Ellards were on their way to the Gulf Coast to celebrate the Fourth of July.
In total, the plane carried two crew members and eight passengers.
Witness Said the Plane was Obviously in Trouble
Speaking with reporters, David Snell, a pilot who was at the airport that morning, said the plane did not sound like it was flying normally and did not have the power it needed to take off.
“In 33 years, I never saw anything so tragic,” Snell said.
“That was a really horrible thing to see because somebody’s life, lives, family’s lives were forever changed, it’s awful.”
Peter Drake also witnessed the crash and said the plane got to about 200 feet before losing power and altitude. It then rolled over and crashed straight into the hangar. Drake said the entire crash took only about 10 seconds, from the time the airplane tried to climb and fly to when it exploded in a fireball.
The NTSB and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are investigating what caused the plane to crash. The plane was previously owned by a private charter company from Chicago, who said the plane was sold to an Addison-based company called EE Operations. That company has ties to the Ellard family.
Aviation Accident Attorneys
Attorneys at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman have an extensive history of successfully representing people whose lives have been devastated by plane crashes. We have represented clients against all major airlines in the US and many small aircraft manufacturers. Our highly skilled aviation attorneys conduct meticulous investigations to determine liability and the full value of a claim. In most cases, the NTSB investigation is just the beginning, not the end, of our investigation.