New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 18, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
Close callPilots walk away from vintage plane crash
PARIS. Texas t AP) — A World War II-era plane on a test run before heading for an air museum, crashed less than two minutes after take-off Saturday, but the two pilots managed to walk away, authorities said.
The vintage A-26 aircraft, designed as an attack plane, crashed about 9:20 a.m. in a plowed field near Paris Cox Field, where the plane had just taken off. authorities said.
Paul Weston. 37. a pilot for Aero Nostalgia rn Stockton. Calif., and Shane Williams, 37, the plane’s navigator, were taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital where they were treated in the emergency room for minor injuries, said hospital spokeswoman Jan Huff.
Weston, a bush pilot from Anchorage, Alaska, and Shane, an aviation engineer from Long Beach, Calif., were under contract by Aero Nostalgia, a company which buys vintage aircraft for display.
Weston told the Pans Afews he was testing the
landing gear of the attack plane before flying it later Saturday to the U.S. Air Force Air Museum rn Fargo, N.D., where it was to be placed on permanent display He said he was about a mile from the airport when the engine suddenly ‘ went out.”
“I tried to pull the gear up and tned to get back to the airport.” W’eston said. "I started to go over on my back and I couldn't let her do that. I attempted to increase power for more control but she wouldn't stay in the air.”
Weston said he realized he wouldn't make it back to the airport and decided to land in an open field.
"There was no fire, thank goodness. The engines ripped off,” Weston said.
Witnesses told sheriff’s deputies at the scene they saw a puff of white smoke coming from one of the plane's two engines shortly before it started losing altitude and disappeared behind a hill
Harp.- Wilson, a farmer who owns the land where the crash occurred, said he heard the plane making a lot of noise, looked up and saw that it was flying just above tree-top level.
Wilson said one of the plane’s wings clipped a tree. spun around about 90 degrees and plunged out of sight. He said the plane broke up on impact, and although it was fully fueled, it didn’t bum.
He said the two men aboard the plane walked away.
"They were sitting under a tree when I got there.” said Wilson, who was the first to arrive at the scene
The vintage aircraft, worth ab* ut $40,000, had been sold by I.N Burchina' of tnt Flying Titers Air Museum near Paris to the California company. authorities said.
Weston said the plane was used near the end of WW II and was equipped with guns used to attack trains, tanks and other objects on the gr« and
Delta damage to cost millions
GRAPEVINE i AP I — As a special federal team prepares to comb the site where a Delta Air Lines jet crashed and exploded. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport officials are estimating cleanup and repair costs at about $1.7 million.
The airport board expects Delta's insurance to cover all the airport's expenses stemming from the Aug. 2 crash that left 134 dead, airport spokesman Joe Deals Jr. said.
The biggest item rn that cost estimate is a $1.45 million repair to two four-million-gallon water storage tanks. The Delta Lockheed L-1011 TnStar hit the tanks after what authorities suspect was windshear forced the jet to the ground One tank already has been repaired and refilled, although it still needs cosmetic repairs. Deals said. But the second tank won't be fixed until later this s ear or earls- in 1986.
Dealey said the board determined thai by using one of the tanks, plus two twomillion-gailon tanks on the airport's west side. the airport has an adequate water supply.
Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration has sent a five-member team to the airport to study how the airport handles weather information, emergency plum md phys: a1 obstructions to aircraft safetsColombian officials search for American
HOUSTON AP) — Tenneco Inc. officials anxiously awaited word Saturday on one of their subsidiaries' drilling engineers who was kidnapped by leftist guerrillas in Bogota. Colombia.
Michael Wayne Stewart. 34, an employee of Houston Oil Colombia. S.A., was abducted Friday morning in the Colombian capital, Tenneco spokesman Tony DeHaas in Houston confirmed Saturday.
An unidentified HOCOL source in Bogota told The Associated Press that Stewart is from Houston, but DeHaas declined to confirm the engineer's hometown or the w hereabouts of his family.
"I am not at liberty to give that out,” DeHaas said.
Stewart was in his car. driven by a bodyguard, when another car forced Stewart's car to the side of the street just a few blocks from his house, a company source said.
The Colombian radio chain. Caracol, quoting federal police sources, also reported the kidnapping. The radio network said the kidnappers forced Stewart and the bodyguard. Jose Neira. into the abductors' car.
A few blocks away from the kidnapping site the abductors stopped and pushed Neira from the
car after telling him that they were members of the April 19 Movement, Caracol quoted the
police sources as saying.
Stewart arrived in Colombia three months ago, the HOCOL source said. DeHaas said Stewart joined Tenneco as a production engineer in 1975 and after .serving in various oil production positions in the United States, he was transferred to HOCOL in November 1984
Stewart is married and has two children, he added.
HOCOL has been sending dozens of employees to Bogota in the last year because of an oil discovery in the state of Huila in southern Colombia. The Huila field is expected to produce 40,000 barrels of oil a day initially, the company source said
Stewart is the third oil company executive to be kidnapped in Bogota in the last eight years
Flight years ago. Hie president of Texas Petroleum Co.’s Colombia operations, Nicolas Escobar, a Colombian, was kidnapped b\ leftist guerrillas He was killed as police tried to rescue him from an underground rebel hideout in Bogota
Appraisal suit settled
HOUSTON AP — Thousands of Hams County residents could get tax refunds because of a settlement of a class-action lawsuit against the county tax appraisal district, officials say.
Between 17.000 and 70.000 local taxpayers could share in the settlement. which was approved Friday by state District Judge David West, said Kenneth Graeber. the district's chief appraiser.
The suit was filed by taxpayers who claimed they were not allowed to protest unfair increases in their 1984 property values.
Thousands of citizens complained they were never notified of an increase in 1984 property values or that
they got notice of the increase to late to protest.
"This settlement is attempting to address people who tried to protest but were cut off by some mechanism." said Marta Greytok. chairman of the appraisal district board.
Graeber said the exact amount of taxes that were overpaid last year is unknown, but that millions of dollars may be refunded under the settlement.
Under the agreement, taxpapers will be allowed to file sworn affidavits saying the tried to protest the 1984 values, but were denied the opportunity, Ms. Greytok said.
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