Earlier this week, a plane crashed at a Texas airport near Houston. It burst into flames. But miraculously, all 21 people, including passengers and crew members, walked away.
The passengers were trying to fly to the Houston Astros playoff game against the Boston Red Sox. Instead, they never got much farther than the runway. The plane failed to attain elevation. Pilots hit the brakes and slowed the plane down enough that when it crashed into a fence at the Texas airport, all people could leave the plane.
Now comes news that the plane in question hadn’t been used at all in 2021. It’s last flight was in December, 2020.
National Transportation Safety Board member Michael Graham told reporters that the plane left 1,200 feet of tire marks on the runway. The Texas airport is a private one in Brookshire outside of Houston.
In a media briefing, Graham said:
“There was a heavy braking event, which appears to be an aborted takeoff, so we do know that the brakes were effectively working before the aircraft exited the runway.”
Authorities are talking to the two pilots. And they’re also sifting through maintenance records of the plane, a McDonnell Douglas MD-87. The plane has been used as a charter since 2015. Graham said investigators also are scrutinizing a video showing a puff of smoke coming from one of the engines while the plane was on the runway.
Graham also offered more details as to what transpired as the pilots braked. The flight mechanic was traveling aboard the plane. He opened the main cabin door. The passengers exited through the door and evacuated down an inflated slide.
Houston TV station KHOU took video of the scary aftermath. Fire gutted part of the plane. The smoke was thick and very dark as it billowed skyward.
DEVELOPING: Plane with 21 people on board crashes near Houston Executive Airport, everyone survived with only one person injured; The FAA is investigating pic.twitter.com/WeSov5EjhP— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) October 19, 2021
Passengers at Texas Airport Evacuated, Then Ran in Case Plane Blew Up
Cheryl McCaskill was traveling with her boyfriend to catch the Astros playoff game. Moments after the plane hit the fence, McCaskill said everyone started yelling “get out, get out, get out.”
She said “we jumped out on that inflatable thing and then everyone went ‘get away,'” McCaskill told the Daily Mail. “I lost my shoes.”
Another passenger, who was unnamed, told the Mail: “We unbuckled ourselves – and ran as far away as we could because we thought it was going to explode. And we wanted to get as far away as we could.”
Authorities said the only injury happened to a passenger who was on the inflatable evacuation slide.
Graham said the left-wing of the plane clipped some trees near the Texas airport as the jet ran into the fence.