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Fri, May 04, 2007

Engine Failure Possible Factor In TX Lancair IV-P Crash

Two Lost In Takeoff Accident

The FAA reports engine failure on takeoff was a possible cause of an accident this week in McAllen, TX that claimed two Mexican nationals.

The aircraft went down at 10th Street between Dicker Drive and Military Highway about 1900 local time Wednesday night, according to McAllen's The Monitor. Efforts to remove the wreckage closed the street to traffic for most of Thursday.

The single-engine Lancair IV-P was enroute to Tampico's Francisco Javier Mina airport from Houston, when it went down about 2 1/2 miles from McAllen-Miller International Airport after a fuel stop.

While engine failure appears to be a factor in the accident, FAA spokesman Roland Herwig cautioned against jumping to conclusions.

"That information could have come from investigators, or the pilot could have radioed in the cause of his problems before the plane went down," Herwig said  "But it's still several months before we will know for sure."

Georgina Grimaldo, 24, perished in the crash. Pilot Jose Francisco Ortiz, 34, died Thursday morning in the burn unit of San Antonio's Brooke Army Medical Center from burns on more than 90 percent of his body, Mexican consular officials said.

According to the newspaper, NTSB investigators will not be going to McAllen to study the scene. Instead, they will rely on information from local emergency responders and FAA investigators to compile a preliminary report expected to be released next week, Hector Casanova, an Arlington (TX)-based regional director for the board, said.

This is the second crash the McAllen area has seen in as many weeks. Last week, US Customs and Border Protection pilot Clint Thrasher, 32, died when his Cessna 182 went down about 15 miles north of San Manuel. The accident happened about a mile north of the Hidalgo County line.

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 119TC        Make/Model: EXP       Description: LANCAIR IV P
  Date: 05/02/2007     Time: 2358

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Fatal     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Destroyed

LOCATION
  City: MCALLEN   State: TX   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT AFTER DEPARTURE, ENGINE FAILED AND CRASHED 2 1/2 MILES SOUTH OF
  THE AIRPORT, THERE WERE TWO PERSONS ON BOARD, ONE WAS FATALLY INJURED, ONE
  SUSTAINED SERIOUS INJURIES, MCALLEN, TX

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   1
                 # Crew:   2     Fat:   1     Ser:   1     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   

WEATHER: MFE METAR 030003Z 13014KT 10SM CLR 29/20 A2968

OTHER DATA
  Activity: Pleasure      Phase: Take-off      Operation: OTHER

  Departed: MCALLEN, TX                 Dep Date:    Dep. Time:     
  Destination: MCALLEN, TX              Flt Plan: IFR          Wx Briefing: 
  Last Radio Cont: 
  Last Clearance: 

  FAA FSDO: SAN ANTONIO, TX  (SW17)               Entry date: 05/03/2007

FMI: www.faa.gov

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