Federal authorities are investigating a plane crash in east Mesa that left two people dead seconds after the aircraft took off from Falcon Field on Tuesday morning.
A homebuilt, single-engine Rans S-12 crashed after it took off about 7:45 a.m. near Higley and McDowell roads near one of the field’s runways and a golf course killing the two people on board, according to Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Pacific Division.
The owners of the aircraft were listed as Michael and Deborah Hazel of Mesa, according to the FAA’s records.However, the identities of the two aboard the plane were not known. The cause of the crash is not known at this time.
The Mesa Fire Department, which has a station at Falcon Field, was quick to respond to the crash and subsequent fire, and fire crews were on scene for about two hours, said Forrest Smith, a spokesman for the Mesa Fire Department.
Jeff Furnari, an assistant golf pro at the Apache Wells Country Club close to where the plane crashed within 20 yards of the tee box at Hole No. 13, said that people who saw the plane go down said they heard the engine sputter and saw the plane’s nose go up right before the plane fell to the ground.
“The smoke was incredible,” Furnari said. “It was dark black. Any time you hear of this sort of thing, and with it being close by, it hits you hard.”
Gregor said that the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, and it could take months before a cause is determined.
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