SAN ANTONIO – A small airplane trying to land in bad weather crashed near a senior citizens apartment complex, killing all five on the plane and leaving a wing embedded in the wall of one apartment.
John Clabes, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration (search), said the pilot and a pair of fathers traveling with their sons, died in the Sunday afternoon crash. All were from San Antonio. Their names were not immediately released.
Joe Rios, a spokesman for San Antonio police, said all injuries on the ground were minor. Some people were treated for smoke inhalation. The woman whose apartment suffered the most damage was not injured.
Rios said part of the 34-foot-long plane was buried in the ground at the housing complex and pieces of it were scattered around the area. He said one wing disintegrated on impact, while the other was embedded in the wall of an apartment. The impact left a 3-foot-by-5-foot hole in the wall.
"It looks like it clipped a tree, clipped the apartment and went into the ground," Rios said of the plane. He said there was a small explosion after the crash.
Clabes said that the Piper Navajo (search) owned by Dash Air Charter Inc. (search) of San Antonio was on approach to San Antonio International Airport (search) shortly after 5 p.m. The pilot was off course and was swinging around to try again when the plane crashed.
"He pulled out of the approach and disappeared off our radar," Clabes said.
The aircraft was trying to make an instrument landing in rainy conditions with poor visibility. It had filed a flight plan in Dodge City, Kan., Clabes said.
Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board (search) were scheduled to arrive in San Antonio on Monday to investigate the cause of the crash.
David Herrmann, vice president of the company that owns the plane, told the San Antonio Express-News that the group was returning from a pheasant hunting trip in Kansas.
The crash site is in a thickly populated residential and commercial area about six miles northwest of downtown San Antonio. The plane, which can seat as many as eight people, crashed about three miles from the airport and just off a busy city street.