Glenpool_A single-engine plane crashed into an empty field, killing all five people on board. Federal investigators said Thursday that the aircraft appeared to have been running under low power, and that the pilot may have been attempting an emergency landing.
The National Transportation Safety Board was sifting through the crumpled and charred remains of the 1978 Beechcraft A36, which crashed shortly after takeoff Wednesday from a Tulsa airport as severe thunderstorms were moving through the area.
Witnesses and Glenpool city officials said the six-passenger plane clipped a transmission line before it went down in a vacant lot. One witness said he saw the wind flipping the plane around the sky.
NTSB regional director Hector Casanova said that although investigators are not ruling anything out, it is not likely the poor weather played a major role in the crash.
"The signatures of the propeller appear to be the signature of low power coming from the engine," Casanova said at a news conference near the crash site Thursday.
Casanova also said it was feasible the pilot was trying to turn the plane around and land it in the field.
After the pilot was cleared to take off, he never made a call back to the control tower to indicate anything was wrong, Casanova said.
A preliminary report could be ready as early as Monday, while the final report is due in six months, the agency said.
Tulsa attorney Bill Lunn has said those killed included his former wife, 51-year-old Dr. Rhonda Lunn; 16-year-old daughter, Kathryn Lunn; and 14-year-old twins, Michael and Adrienne Lunn. The pilot was Bill Wiseman Jr., 63, a former state lawmaker.
Larry Pinney, whose company owned the plane, called Wiseman a longtime friend and said he had more than 300 hours in the aircraft that crashed.