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Plane crash in Greenbrier kills one

By Lee Hogan

This article was originally published April 22, 2013 at 11:50 a.m. Updated April 22, 2013 at 4:58 p.m.


Faulkner County and FAA officials investigate the scene of a fatal plane crash at Arkavalley Airport in Greenbrier on Monday, April 22, 2013.

Faulkner County officials on scene of a fatal plane crash in Greenbrier.

This map shows the location of Arkavalley Airport in Greenbrier off of Arkansas 287. One person was killed in a plane crash at the airport Monday.

Plane crash at Greenbrier airport kills one

One is dead following a plane crash at the Arkavalley Airport in Greenbrier on Monday. (By Lee Hogan)
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GREENBRIER - One person is dead following a plane crash at Arkavalley Airport in Greenbrier on Monday morning, the airport's manager said.

Airport manager Bill Hooten said the plane crashed about 11:20 a.m., killing the pilot, who was the only person on board.

Hooten said the crash caused a fire, but crews were on scene extinguishing the blaze.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said in an e-mail Monday afternoon that the aircraft was a single-engine Ercoupe.

Speaking by phone from the scene, Faulkner County Coroner Patrick Moore said it was too early to know what happened. He said the plane was badly burned.

Faulkner County sheriff's office spokesman Capt. Matt Rice said Federal Aviation Administration officials are on the scene and investigating the accident.

Lunsford said the National Transportation Safety Board has been notified, and would take over the investigation upon arrival. Phone calls to a NTSB official were not immediately returned.

A Faulkner County coroner's office official said the pilot's identification could not be released until it was confirmed, which the official said would be completed Tuesday morning.

Arkavalley Airpark resident Corey Johnson, who has lived in the neighborhood of the airport for about a year, said he had observed the pilot doing "touch-and-goes" — an exercise that involves landing, taking off and circling the airport.

Johnson said he saw the plane attempting to land on the north side of the runway, which he referred to as the "professional side" because of the power lines and trees in the way, as he entered his home.

"It's not a flat runway (coming from the north side), and you have to come over this hillside," Johnson said.

Most landing attempts are done on the south side of the runway, Johnson noted.

Johnson's wife said she heard what sounded like a crash, and Johnson said he immediately went to the scene and saw broken branches everywhere. He didn't comment on the condition of the plane.

"I saw the mushroom cloud going up, so I jumped in my truck and got to the scene as soon as possible to see if I could help out," Johnson said.

Read Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more details.


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JuanCarlosEspinoza says... April 22, 2013 at 12:13 p.m.

The ERCO Ercoupe is a low-wing monoplane aircraft that was designed and built in the United States. It was first manufactured by the Engineering and Research Corporation (ERCO) shortly before World War II; several other manufacturers continued its production after the war. The final unit was completed in 1968. It was designed to be the safest fixed-wing aircraft that aerospace engineering could provide at the time, and the type continues to enjoy a faithful following.
Although many variants were produced under different licensure by different manufacturers, the basic model specifications are as follows:
General characteristics
Crew: 1
Capacity: 1 passenger
Length: 20 ft 9 in (6.32 m)
Wingspan: 30 ft 0 in (9.14 m)
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Wing area: 142.6 ft² (13.25 m²)
Empty weight: 749 lb (339 kg)
Useful load: 511 lb (233 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 1,260 lb (572 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Continental C-75-12, 75 hp (56 kW) at 2,300 rpm

Never exceed speed: 125 knots (144 mph, 232 km/h)
Maximum speed: 96 knots (110 mph, 177 km/h)
Cruise speed: 83 knots (95 mph, 153 km/h)
Stall speed: 42 knots (48 mph, 77 km/h)
Range: 261 NM (300 mi, 482 km)
Service ceiling: 13,000 ft (4,000 m)
Rate of climb: 550 ft/min (2.79 m/s)
Wing loading: 8.83 lb/ft² (43.17 kg/m²)
Power/mass: 0.13 hp/lb (210 W/kg)

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