Aviation analyst weighs in on Waller Co. plane crash: 'It must have been something very worrisome'

ByCourtney Carpenter via KTRK logo
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Aviation weighs in on what might have gone wrong in plane crash
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The plane barely left the pavement before it caught on fire. Now an analyst breaks down what could've led to the pilot's high-speed abort decision.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is launching a go-team to investigate Tuesday's plane crash as an MD-87 was trying to take off from Houston Executive Airport.

ABC aviation analyst John Nance explains it seems the plane barely left the pavement and had the brakes on when skidding off the end of the runway. The plane eventually caught on fire in a field near the airport.

"What we have here is an airplane that basically, the crew decided to make a high-speed abort. High-speed aborts are inherently dangerous," said Nance.

He explains that in order for the pilots to have made this decision, something really wrong must have been going on.

"Normally, the only reason you would do that, and take a high-speed abort knowing that you are going to go off the end is if you've got a major flight control malfunction and you're not sure if you can control it in-flight. Or if you've got a cabin fire or something of that nature," said Nance.

Nance said this particular type of plane and its tough structure likely factored into this being a good outcome, with everyone on board surviving. Similar planes have been commonly used as commercial planes.

Nance said at one point, MD-80s made up much of the American Airlines fleet.

"Survivability is a very big factor, but I don't know if you would have achieved that result if it had been something other than an airplane built to airline standards," said Nance.

Though many questions are unanswered at this point, Nance said, eventually, the cause of this crash will be uncovered.

"We've got both pilots, thank goodness, still alive and the flight data recorder and the voice recorder, so this will be a solved accident," said Nance.