UPDATE 2/7/20 (7:30 p.m.)– Around 10:30 this morning The National Transportation Safety Board arrived on scene to help investigate the airplane crash. It’s been more than 24 hours since Chris Mudd, Wade Williams, and airplane pilot, Robert Gilliam lost theirs lives
We have seen the NTSB crew taking pictures, bagging evidence, and recently moving parts of the plane. Just because the plane is being moved doesn’t mean it won’t be investigated. The airplane wreckage will be moved to Baton Rouge.
Investigators say that Gilliam requested to land in Ruston rather than Shreveport. Air Traffic Control cleared him to have an instrument approach in Ruston. Investigators don’t know the reason why. NTSB confirmed that the pilot, Robert Gilliam, is experienced with a lot of flight time.
The National Transportation Safety Board says they will have a preliminary crash report in two weeks. However, the final report can take anywhere from 12 to 24 months. They should finish moving the plane on February 8.
A Chatham local says she wants the family to have peace as this tragedy leaves all three families without a loved one.
“It was very shocking. It was very terrible news to hear, especially around here in this small area. I just hope they can find out what caused the crash itself and maybe it can help the families more,” said Brandy Baker, works at Chatham Grocery.
It has been confirmed that the plane did not leave any tree or building strikes and came down almost at a vertical fall. We will keep you updated as more information comes available.
UPDATE (10:00 p.m.) — “A prayer that it was not what it was going to be, but it’s a terrible tragedy, three people,” said Andy Brown, Jackson Parish Sheriff.
Tragedy struck not just in Jackson Parish but also for three families who lost their loved ones in an airplane crash.
According to the News Star, the names of the three victims are identified as Chris Mudd and Wade Williams, both from Shreveport-Bossier, and airplane pilot Robert Gilliam of Minden all died in the crash. The plane took off from Jackson Mississippi en route to Shreveport Louisiana, but didn’t make it.
“Our first call was a helicopter crash and then we responded to the scene, of course, it was a small airplane. We believe it is a 4-seater Cessna airplane,” said Brown.
The plane crashed off LA Highway 34 near Chatham in front of DG&E logging company. The Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office confirmed three people are dead, including the pilot and two passengers.
The Sheriff’s Office says the plane lost contact with the Monroe Regional Airport around 2:11 this afternoon. The sheriff’s office received their first call at 2:20. Fire officials say while the plane did not hit the logging company’s building, it did catch it on fire. The plane was only 30 minutes away from their arrival time.
“It come over this tan shop into the area where it crashed,” said Brown.
According to the tail number, we were able to pull up the flight tracker where we can see the altitude and speed. You can see the path goes white because the plane never made it. The owner of the plane is BCM AviationLLC in Bossier City.
In addition, it has 4 seats, a single-engine, and weighs less than 12,500 pounds. Jackson Parish Sheriff, Andy Brown, says pulling up to the unusual scene was heartbreaking.
“I have been sheriff for 16 years and I have never investigated or been involved in an airplane crash in Jackson Parish,” said Brown.
The investigation into this plane crash continues as authorities wait for the Federal Aviation Administration to arrive Friday morning, February 7th.
“They will come in and look at the crash site. They will look at weather conditions, they will look at records of the piolet and try and piece this thing back together,” said Brown.
The Eros and Chatham fire department was on scene and helped with the crash. In addition, Louisana State Police, Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Chatham Police were all on the scene as well.
UPDATE (4:40 p.m.) — According to the Jackson Airports Twitter account, the plane that crashed near Chatham this afternoon took off from Hawkins Field Airport in Jackson, Mississippi at 1:07 p.m.
UPDATE (4:20 p.m.) — Our crew on the scene has sent back pictures of the crash scene and the investigation.
JACKSON PARISH, La. — At least three people have died following a plane crash in Jackson Parish.
According to our content partners at the News-Star, the small plane crashed just north of Chatham on Louisiana Highway 34 and there has been at least one fatality. The plane was flying from Jackson to Shreveport when the Monroe Regional Airport tower lost contact at 2:10 PM.
We have a crew on the way to the scene, and we will have more tonight at 5 p.m. on KTVE NBC 10 and 5:30 p.m. on KARD FOX 14.
To read the full article from The News-Star, click here.