Two killed in Brazoria County plane crash

BRAZORIA COUNTY (KTRK) -- Two people were killed Tuesday morning when a single-engine plane crashed in the San Bernard Refuge area of Brazoria County, authorities said.

The remains of 63-year-old David Leining, of Santa Fe, and a passenger were discovered around 10am Tuesday off CR 306 and FM 2611. DPS says the passenger was 57-year-old Robert Mena, of League City, a retired DPS sergeant.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, it appears the plane, a 1979 fixed wing single-engine Piper, took a nose dive and crashed.

We've learned DPS did not receive any distress call from the pilot nor Air Traffic Control.

There is no sign of impact or fire at the scene of the crash. DPS says when they arrived at the scene they did not see signs of smoke or fire at the scene.

Investigators will be looking at the pilot's history, cockpit radio transmissions, the flight path and the plane itself -- to see if they could have sustained any damage prior to impact.

The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation. Other agencies including the FAA as well as investigators from the aircraft manufacturer and the engine manufacturer will also assist the NTSB. They are expected to dismantle the plane later today and move it to a safe location for further inspection.

The NTSB says the investigation will take several months to complete.
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