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Oklahoma State University is expected to tighten travel rules

by Silas Allen Modified: November 29, 2012 at 9:59 pm •  Published: November 29, 2012
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Federal officials haven't determined the cause of the crash yet. National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Terry Williams said the agency expects to release an accident report in early 2013.

Olin Branstetter, 82, was piloting the single-engine Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee. Branstetter, an accomplished pilot and licensed flight instructor, had flown university employees on similar trips.

In the aftermath of the crash, questions arose about how the university's travel policy applies to coaches.

The single-engine Piper did not meet the policy's requirement that aircraft used in university-related travel be “powered by two or more turbine engines.”

OSU officials have said that policy doesn't apply to coaches when they travel without student athletes.

However, a section of the policy deals specifically with coaches and athletic department staff traveling without students. It outlines what types of aircraft are acceptable for such trips. The section states that coaches traveling alone may use other aircraft that would be prohibited for team travel.

The policy then lists what appear to be minimum requirements for such other aircraft. Included in the list is a requirement that aircraft be “powered by two or more turbine engines.”

The proposed policy change would be the second time in recent memory that OSU has revamped its travel policies for athletics. The school did so after the Jan. 27, 2001, plane crash that killed two basketball players and eight other men associated with the school and/or its men's basketball program.

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by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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