3 dead after small plane fails to make emergency landing, crashes near San Antonio International Airport

All three people aboard a single-engine plane were killed Sunday night in a crash near San Antonio International Airport, authorities said.

The pilot of the Piper PA-24 Cherokee tried to make an emergency landing, Fire Chief Charles Hood said in a press conference aired by local station KSAT-TV, but fell about a mile short. No commercial or residential buildings were hit, Hood said, and firefighters reported no other injuries. 

“As tragic as it is, it could’ve been much worse,” Hood said. 

Firefighters were notified of the crash near the airport at 6:26 p.m. local time. The aircraft landed near the sidewalk of a street, Hood said, forcing officials to block off the area during a search for far-flung debris. 

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The pilot had activated an alert indicating he was attempting to make an emergency landing because of engine trouble, Hood said. The aircraft was flying toward Boerne, about 30 miles north of San Antonio, from Sugar Land, southwest of Houston. 

The plane is registered to RTW Capital LLC of Austin, according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s online records, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

The FAA said investigators were heading to the crash site on Sunday night. The National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation. 

Contributing: The Associated Press

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