Beechcraft BE58 General Aviation Crash Kills 6 in Kerrville Texas

May 8, 2019
Abram I. Bohrer

Aviation accident lawyers Bohrer & Lukeman are monitoring this fatal general aviation crash which occurred in Kerrville, Texas, on April 22, 2019. At 8:51 a.m., a 1999 twin-engine Beechcraft BE58 Baron airplane, tail number N501CE, crashed into the rocky ranchland terrain just outside Kerrville Municipal Airport (ERV) following a spiral descent. All six occupants onboard perished in the impact.

The fixed wing twin-engine piston aircraft took off from West Houston Airport (IWS) in Katy, Texas, around 7:30 a.m. central daylight time, and was registered under the Federal Code of Regulations as a business flight. It was scheduled to land on runway 12 at Kerrville Municipal Airport at 8:35 a.m. on but never arrived. 15 minutes later, it was spotted flying at a low altitude 7 miles northwest of the regional airport. The air traffic controller last recorded the Baron 58 traveling at about 65 knots ground speed at 2,050 feet above mean sea level.

The National Weather Service reported cloudy skies and wind gusts up to 20 mph at the time of the accident; however, there was no rain and visibility was greater than 10 miles. Day instrument meteorological conditions prevailed.

“I looked over and watched him (sic) drop down out of the clouds,” said Rodney Simmons, a construction worker starting his day in the nearby Las Colinas subdivision. “The rear end of the plane was real low, like he was trying to stay in the air. It was like he was dragging the tail end of that plane. Like he had a lot of weight in the back or something.”

According to Simmons, who spoke with reporters for the San Antonio Express-News, the Beechcraft BE58 flew southward into the wind, then “banked to the right, real hard, and just flipped on over, upside down, and nose-dived to the ground.”

The airplane was registered to pilot Jeffrey Weiss, 65, a Houston-based personal wealth manager for the Raymond James firm with 42 years of piloting experience. Weiss held an Airline Transport Pilot license, the same held by commercial pilots for major airlines, and had logged over 5000 hours of flight time. He often volunteered with Angel Flight South Central to fly rural and low-access patients to medical appointments, according to his biography on the Houston Aeronautical Heritage Society website. He also volunteered with Pilot & Paws, an organization which helps transport animals in need of shelter and adoption. He averaged 500 hours of flight time per year.

Also onboard was Angela Webb Kensinger, 54, the great-granddaughter of the 94th mayor of New York City Mayor William Jay Gaynor, who served from 1910 to 1913. She was joined by her husband, Stuart, 55. Both were Yale graduates.

The Texas Department of Public Safety identified the other passengers lost in this tragic accident as Mark Damien Scioneaux, 58; Scott Reagan Miller, 55; and Marc Tellepsen, 45, all from Houston.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the Beechcraft BE58 crash and have yet to rule on the exact cause of the accident. The NTSB released a preliminary report which can be read here.

According to the report, the airplane impacted at a low forward ground speed and that the wreckage was contained within the footprint of the aircraft. The Beechcraft did not catch fire post-impact. An NTSB spokesperson stated that the safety board expects to release the final report with probable cause declarations in 12 to 18 months.

Bohrer & Lukeman would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the family, friends, and loved ones of those lost in this tragic disaster. While commercial aviation crashes are relatively rare, the unfortunate truth is that general aviation crashes occur with much greater frequency, often with fatal consequences. Part of the reason for this is that private planes and small aircraft often lack the safety features and standards found in commercial aviation. While the times that follow such a loss can be severely emotionally taxing on the families involved, it is important to know that your rights in these situations may extend far beyond your expectations.

Airplane accident lawyers Bohrer & Lukeman have over 25 years of experience representing those injured or lost in general aviation and commercial aviation accidents and are committed to helping the victims of these tragic events receive the full compensation to which they may be entitled. These events are often times fully preventable, and therefore it is important to retain the best representation available. Our firm has extensive experience defending clients involved in general aviation and commercial aviation accidents and crashes and is intimately familiar with the domestic and international laws that may pertain to your situation.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a general or commercial aviation accident, please call Bohrer & Lukeman at (212) 406-4232 today, or fill out our online contact form and we will be in touch shortly.