BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — The Federal Aviation Administration has taken over the investigation following a deadly plane crash at the Bentonville Municipal Airport.
According to KNWA, investigators say Pilot Rex Grimsley was attempting to take off around 9:30 this morning, when he veered off the runway trying to avoid another plane.
Brandon Nolker says he was working just two hangars away from where Pilot Rex Grimsley’s 1983 Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft crashed Wednesday morning.
“I was actually just standing next to him about 10 minutes before…I heard the airplane trying to take off heard the engine under power and one of the guys working there with me said look out and there was no time to react and sounded like a bomb was going off,” Nolker said.
F.A.A. investigators tell KNWA preliminary reports indicate Grimsley tried to avoid another plane, lifting the nose of his aircraft early and veering off the runway into a hangar.
“I know he was on a take off roll and evidently there was another plane coming to land from the other direction, that plane touched down in front of him, so he tried to take off but didn’t have enough speed,” Nolker said.
Gene Page with the Bentonville Police Department told KNWA that hanger was the only one damaged.
“No other aircraft or persons on the ground were injured,” Page said.
There is no air traffic control tower at the municipal airport. Instead, the F.A.A. says pilots alert each other over the radio when they are taking off and landing. The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating.
“It’s sad, it’s stunning anytime someone in aviation is hit with a tragedy we all feel it,” Nolker said.
BENTONVILLE, Ark.– UPDATE: The pilot of an airplane has died after a crash into a hanger at the Bentonville Municipal Airport.
According to the Bentonville Police Department, the plane was taking off and crashed into the hanger. No other injuries were reported.
The Bentonville Fire Department is responding to a call of a fire at the Bentonville Municipal Airport.
A witness from the scene said a plane went through the hanger wall and the nose of the plane broke.
This story is ongoing. More information will be released as it comes available.