Plane Was On Approach To Land
A Vans Aircraft RV-6 went down at
the San Patricio County Airport west of Sinton, TX Monday morning.
The Texas Department of Public Safety identified the pilot as 45
year-old Scott James Schilleci of Spring Branch, according to the
According to a report by DPS Trooper Eric Jimenez, the pilot
made "two passes" before crashing at the runway's east end. Heavy
fog was reported at the time of the crash and may have been a
"Preliminary reports are suggesting that at about 8:45 a.m.
Central (Daylight) Time, the pilot was on initial approach when the
plane stalled and crashed," said FAA spokesman Roland Herwig. "The
pilot received fatal injuries and the aircraft was destroyed by
According to New Braunfels' The Herald-Zeitung, witness Dorothy
Pace, who lives within 200 yards of the crash site on Texas 188,
said she heard two "loud pops" around 9 a.m.
"I was sweeping the driveway and then went into the garage when
I heard two bangs. It sounded like a muffler pop. It was loud. I
came out and looked around and saw smoke and a small fire, but no
plane. I thought that was strange because they're always doing
something over there (at the airport). My first reaction was, well,
maybe someone's burning a pile of brush."
According to troopers, a witness saw the plane disappear into
the fog then become engulfed in flames.
"There was another guy here. They already called; he grabbed a
couple of fire extinguishers, tried putting the fire out, but you
can tell no one could have survived that heat," Jeffrey Janak,
assistant airport manager, said.
Hector Casanova, NTSB regional director in Arlington, Texas told
media Schilleci's aircraft was first certified as airworthy on Nov.
29, 2000 an investigator has already been assigned to the case.
"This is a very popular aircraft. Two of our four investigators,
including the lead investigator on the case, are builders of the
same model," Casanova said. "We've ordered weather and radar
records and will continue gathering data as needed."
The Vans Aircraft RV-6 is a low-wing, home-built airplane that
seats two and can be ordered with tailwheel or tricycle landing
gear. It has a top speed range of 198 to 210 mph and a range of up
to 775 statute miles, according to the manufacturer.
The accident aircraft was housed at Kestral Airpark, about 20
miles east of New Braunfels Municipal Airport. The pilot's father
told reporters Schilleci was a pilot for Continental Airlines and
held type ratings in Boeing 737s and DC-9s.
David McCraw, a pilot who witnessed the accident said he "knew
from the wreckage that the accident was a bad one."
"I taxied down to the runway area, saw the plane there, realized
something happened, and it was pretty bad," he told Corpus