An Erath resident, who was the pilot, was killed in a small plane crash Monday morning in Las Vegas.
Douglas Touchet, 45, and three other passengers, including his wife Susan, piloted the plane that took off from Henderson Executive Airport at around 8 a.m. Monday. According to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor, the plane was not able to gain altitude. Gregor said Touchet tried to return to the airport but crashed two miles northwest of the airport.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sgt. John Sheahan said it was a miracle no one on the ground was injured.
“I think we can attribute that to the pilot trying to put it down in a safe place,” he said. “You’re talking the plane crashed maybe 20 or 30 feet [from the nearest home].”
The two other people in the plane were from Catahoula and sustained serious injuries. Touchet’s wife was critically injured.
Investigators from the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the crash.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration database, the Piper Cherokee, one of two planes Touchet owned, was manufactured in 1978 and was last certified as airworthy in December. The venerable Piper Cherokee was one of about 8,000 built in several variants since 1965.
Touchet was licensed to fly single-engine aircraft and passed his most recent annual physical in July, FAA records show.
According to FlightAware.com, a website that tracks aircraft in flight, the Cherokee left Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles, at 12:23 p.m. Thursday, arriving Thursday night at Henderson Executive Airport .
The couples were likely headed back to Louisiana on Monday morning.
(The Associated Press and the Las Vegas Review Journal contributed to this story)
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