No injuries occurred in a plane crash this morning at Decatur Municipal Airport. There were four passengers on board including the pilot and co-pilot. They are members of the Angel Flight program, a non-profit organization that transports financially strapped medical patients to hospitals. They were returning a woman to Decatur from Houston where she had undergone treatments and surgery for mouth cancer. “We dropped her off here — kind of a little harder than was planned,” said pilot Mark Moran of The Woodlands. The cancer patient and everyone else on the plane was uninjured. Moran and his co-pilot and neighbor, Peter Perez, have done as many as 50 of these missions together. Moran was coming in too fast on the landing, and he tried to lift up again at the end of the runway to come around for another approach but was afraid he would not be able to clear some powerlines past the end of the runway.
Messenger video by: Andrew May
“I was coming in too hot so I tried to go around for another approach, but I didn’t want to hit the wires,” Moran said.Instead of attempting to take back to the air, he veered left off the end of the runway and crashed through a barbed-wire fence. The Beachcraft Bonanza came to a rest in the middle of the road at the intersection of Cemetery and Greenwood roads. Barbed-wire was wrapped around the silver propeller, tangled in the front landing gear and strung across the right wing. Although Moran was upset he’d crashed the plane, his quick actions to steer left into the ground rather than try to clear the powerlines might have prevented serious injuries. All four occupants of the aircraft were out and walking within moments of the wreck. Decatur Fire Department arrived and doused the area with foam due to gallons of fuel leaking from the plane.