Washington: A small plane that crashed in Louisiana climbed only about 900 feet (274 meters) before plunging to the ground, killing five of the six people aboard, investigators said on Sunday.
Two people were critically injured in the Saturday plane crash of the eight-passenger Piper Cheyenne shortly after takeoff from Lafayette Regional Airport in the southern US state, local media reported. One of the injured was a passenger on the plane, and the other was on the ground where it crashed.
Vice Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board Bruce Landsberg said that once airborne, the plane turned left and began descending, rolling to wing level before hitting trees and a power line, then striking the parking lot of a post office before crashing into a field, The Daily Advertiser newspaper in Lafayette reported.
As it typical for planes of that size, the aircraft was not equipped with a flight data recorder, Landsberg said, adding "it complicates the job tremendously when we don't have that," according to the newspaper.
Among the five dead was sports broadcaster Carley McCord, daughter-in-law of Steve Ensminger, the offensive coordinator for the Louisiana State University football team.
Later Saturday, LSU triumphed over the University of Oklahoma 63-28 at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia, the destination of the doomed plane.