The Federal Aviation Administration has confirmed the death of the pilot in a plane crash Monday afternoon in Rusk County, according to preliminary crash report released Tuesday.
Around 3:20 p.m., the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a plane crash northeast of Tatum, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
DPS Sgt. Sara Warren said the crash happened near Rusk County roads 2212 and 2214, about nine miles east of East Texas Regional Airport.
According to the FAA initial crash notice, the “aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances” and the damage was listed as “substantial.”
Rusk County Sheriff Johnwayne Valdez said in a Facebook post that fire was extinguished at the crash site by first responders.
The FAA notice reported the plane to be a Cessna 340, and the pilot was the only occupant on board at the time.
The identity of the pilot has not been released, however, according to the plane’s registration information, it is owned by William J. Weatherspoon of Longview.
Rusk County Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Patrick Dooley said the pilot was taking the plane for a “routine maintenance flight” when the crash happened, according to CBS19.
The crash remains under investigation and is listed as an “accident.”