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One Fatally Injured In Flight Training Accident Near Houston, TX

Plane Went Down At Arcola, TX Airport, Student Survives

An instructor pilot was fatally injured Monday when the 2007 Tecnam P92 Echo Super he and a student were aboard went down at Houston-Southwest Regional Airport in Arcola, TX south of Houston. The student survived the takeoff accident, managing to free himself from the burning airplane.

Television station KPRC reports that the student pilot was 20-year-old Nezabian Thomas, a member of the Air National Guard who recently took up flying as a hobby.

The station identifies the instructor as Johnny Johnson, 68, who was described by his wife as a "very safe pilot." Thomas told the station in a telephone interview that the plane encountered a strong crosswind just after takeoff Monday. "We didn't have enough thrust to climb any more, so the nose went down and next thing you know ... you hit the ground. It was at a pretty bad angle, too," he said.

Television station KXAS in Dallas reports that the plane went down next to a hangar between two parked aircraft. There was a post-impact fire. Thomas was able to get himself out of the wreckage and was hospitalized, but Johnson was fatally injured.

Johnson worked for Houston Light Sport Aviation based at the airport which owned the aircraft. Investigators said that he was an experienced pilot with thousands of hours in his logbook. Thomas had flown five times with instructors from the flight school, according to authorities investigating the accident.

(Tecnam P92 pictured in file photo. Not accident airplane)



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