One Dead In Small Plane Crash Near Burns Flat
BURNS FLAT, Oklahoma - Crews are investigating after a small plane crashed near the town of Burns Flat in Washita County, early Saturday morning.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Washita County Sheriff’s deputies were called out to the scene near the Clinton-Sherman Air Force Base around 8:25 a.m.
According to OHP, the pilot of a small experimental plane, identified as Scotty Wilson, was the only person on board the aircraft at the time of the crash.
Cecelia Schneberger, 89, of Foss, said she heard the crash as she was sitting down for her morning coffee. Her home sits about 100 yards from the crash.
"I heard a big boom and then looked out the window and saw smoke and fire," she said.
She said this was the first crash she can remember at this airfield since she moved in in 1976.
The plane was a homemade replica of a small 1930s French aircraft originally designed by Italian-born Parisian automaker Ettore Bugatti. It had been built by Wilson and others based mostly on photos of the original aircraft, which never actually flew.
According to a spokesperson from the Experimental Aircraft Association Museum in Wisconsin, the original plane was dismantled to be hidden from the Nazi army before World War II. It was later recovered and shipped to the museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
When told of the crash, the EAA spokesperson said the museum had also tried to create a replica which was described as "kind of iffy."
This would've been the third flight for the plane. According to the group's Facebook page, they spent several years building the plane and the anniversary of the first flight would have been in two weeks.
This was also not the first time the plane ran into trouble. Wilson told reporters in 2015 there was a problem during the first flight with the plane's brakes causing it to end up nose first in the ground upon landing.
The FAA and NTSB are investigating the incident.