NTSB Turns Louisiana Plane Crash Site Over to Insurers

October 14, 2009

The National Transportation Safety Board has completed its on-scene investigation of a midair collision in Louisiana that killed both men in one plane and injured a man and a woman in another.

Board spokesman Terry Williams says NTSB and Federal Aviation Administration investigators don’t have any conclusions.

He says they turned the single-engine Cessna 150s over to insurance companies on Oct. 12, after documenting the wreckage and examining the engines. Williams says the investigators are bringing two global positioning units back to Washington headquarters.

Supervisor Graylen Barnett of the Red River Waterway Commission says the Fort Buhlow Recreation Area in Pineville will remain closed until the debris has been removed and federal authorities clear it to reopen.

Rapides Parish sheriff’s deputies identified the dead men Sunday as Thomas O’Leary Jr. of Pineville and James Schultz Jr. of Alexandria, and the survivors as Ingrid Newell and Darrell Newell, both of Pineville.

The Newells were taken to Rapides Regional Medical Center. Ingrid Newell sustained severe injuries and Darrell Newell sustained moderate injuries, the sheriff’s office said.

Authorities could not confirm any relationship between the Newells.

The two-seat planes crashed about 2:30 p.m. Oct. 10, the FAA has said.

The Newells’ plane was made in 1966, O’Leary’s in 1965, according to FAA records. They were at the airport for the Fall Fly-In, a social event for recreational pilots.

Jean Wells of Independence said she was taking pictures of boat races at Buhlow Lake when she saw the two planes. She said she was photographing the aircraft when they collided and spiraled out of control into woods at the recreation area.

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