Presumptive Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan was involved in a minor plane crash Wednesday at Angelina County Airport near Lufkin, Texas.
Video footage circulating on social media captured the moment the plane overran the runway and veered off the tarmac while attempting to land during a rainstorm. Neither Phelan nor the two other passengers onboard with him were injured but the pilot suffered minor injuries, KTRE reported.
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The Cessna 551 light jet came from Austin Wednesday morning and was scheduled to land in Lufkin before departing for Tyler in the afternoon, according to FlightAware. The office of Republican State Rep. Trent Ashby confirmed to KTRE that Phelan was on the way to meet with Ashby. “Everyone on the plane is safe and we’re grateful to that,” Asbhy’s office said in a statement.
Angelina County Airport manager Gary Letney told the outlet the plane faced several technical issues related to its anti-lock brakes and wings that likely caused the plane to overrun the runway. (RELATED: Brown Bear Killed By Alaska Airlines Plane During Landing)
“In talking to the pilot, he said that when he landed the anti-lock brakes failed on the jet and so he cut them off and cut them back on, and when he did he had no brakes at all,” he told KTRE. “The wings weren’t in the right position, it broke off all the landing gears, there was some underneath stuff that it pulled off that’s down there. So it’s pretty big damage.”
Letney also said a worse crash was avoided because of a hog wire fence around the perimeter and a breakaway designed to keep planes from flipping over if they overrun the runway, according to KTRE.
Volunteer fire departments and the Texas Department of Public Safety came out Wednesday afternoon for maintenance, KLTV reported. The National Transportation Safety Board also arrived later that day to begin an investigation.
Phelan agreed with Letney’s assessment about the plane’s technical faults and added that “conditions were difficult” during the landing because of rain, according to CBS 11.
“We went through the end of the runway, across a street, and stopped in a pasture,” he told CBS-affiliate KFDM. “We all walked away. It was an unfortunate accident. The plane was in bad shape.”