In light of the Douglas DC-3 airplane crash in Burnet County on July 22, KXAN and FOX 7 turned to Michael Slack, licensed pilot and owner of a WWII aircraft, to discuss the possible crash factors of the “Bluebonnet Belle” that veered off the runway, crashed and caught fire with 13 people on board. No passengers were killed, but they suffered injuries as a result.
According to Slack, the video footage of the aircraft on its takeoff run indicated that the tail never came up, and that the aircraft did not achieve flying speed, even a considerable distance down the runway. He adds that this plane is considered a tail dragger and the pilot needs to hit a certain speed to take off. These issues coupled with the hot weather may have contributed to the crash.
“On a winter day, you can get nice performance out of your aircraft. On a hot summer day, high temperatures and the high elevation, Burnet is 1,200 feet above sea level, you can get impaired performances,” said Slack.