Plane crash investigated

From Staff and Wire Reports Published: July 4, 2006
Incident killed Tulsa man, injured his grandson, 11

OWASSO - Investigators worked Monday to answer questions about an unusual airplane crash that killed a man and critically injured his grandson.

William Barnes, 61, took off Sunday from a private airstrip, traveled about two miles and safely landed the airplane, a Cessna 180, on a residential neighborhood street.

He then tried to take off again.

The four-seat airplane clipped a traffic sign while taxiing and hit a power line after takeoff. The plane crashed nose first into a suburban yard, National Transportation Safety Board representatives said.

Barnes, a Tulsa resident, died in the crash. His grandson, Beau Hall, 11, remained in critical condition Monday with injuries to his head, arms and legs, a hospital spokeswoman said.

It's not clear why Barnes landed in the neighborhood near the private airstrip, about 15 miles northeast of Tulsa, or why he tried to take off again rather than seek assistance.

"Why was he landing here?" National Transportation Safety Board air safety investigator Tim LeBaron said Monday at a news conference in the yard where the plane crashed. "That's a good question. I don't know if we are ever going to know."

The wreckage will remain in the yard pending an examination from representatives of an insurance agency.

Belinda Robertson, who owns the property where the plane crashed, said Monday officials told her the aircraft should be moved by Wednesday.

Tape was placed on Robertson's driveway to prevent trespassing, but she said her family can get in and out of their home.

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