HENDERSON (FOX5) -- Investigators are now figuring out what happened after a small plane crashed near Henderson Executive Airport on Saturday night.

There were four people on the plane. Two people died and two others are still in the hospital.

FOX5 got a hold of the radio traffic between the pilot and air traffic control, in the minutes leading up to the crash.

At 7:41 p.m., the single-engine Beechcraft Sierra took off from Henderson Executive Airport, heading to San Diego.

Two minutes later, the pilot asked to land after discovering a door opened.

“That was a routine exchange and that did not appear to me to be any sense of panic in the voice of the pilot,” flight instructor Robert Katz said.

Then it was silent over the radios until 7:49 p.m. The plane had already crashed. Another pilot called in to report the crash.

Air traffic controllers confirmed they called 9-1-1.

Katz said an open door on a small plane isn’t typically a big deal.

“The wind is going to want to push it closed so the door is not going to open more than an inch,” he said. “That, in itself, is not an emergency. It is not going to cause a pilot to have difficulty controlling the airplane. It's not going to interfere with the control of the airplane.”

Katz thinks the pilot made the right call once he noticed the problem.

“The most significant factor of the door opening in-flight is going to be the noise level,” he said. “It's going to increase significantly because now we have all that wind noise, all the engine noise.”

Katz said it’s part of a lengthy checklist before take off to make sure all of the doors are locked and secured.

But the exact plane they were flying is 42 years old. So Katz doesn’t know if the door was always open or unlatched after take off.

“Something transpired inside that cabin after the door popped open,” he said.

The plane is registered to California Flight Academy based out of El Cajon, California.

FOX5 reached out for a statement, but have not received one.

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved


Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.