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Fatal Crash: Small Plane Tragedy Occurs Shortly After Takeoff at Little Rock Airport

AutoFatal Crash: Small Plane Tragedy Occurs Shortly After Takeoff at Little Rock Airport

Tragic Plane Crash at Little Rock Airport: Pilot Identified as William Cope

1. Overview

The Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas, witnessed a tragic incident on Sunday afternoon when a Cirrus SR-22 airplane crashed shortly after takeoff. The only person on board, identified as 62-year-old William Cope, lost his life in the accident. Multiple agencies, including the Little Rock Police Department (LRPD), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), are involved in the investigation.

2. Crash Details

The single-engine Cirrus SR-22 crashed around 1 p.m. northeast of the airport terminal. The aircraft, engulfed in flames, suffered a total loss. The pilot, William Cope, had reported an emergency shortly after departing the airport, leading to the tragic incident. The airport was temporarily closed for nearly an hour before resuming normal operations.

3. Response and Investigation

Eight fire department units, including aircraft firefighting units, responded to the scene. Chief Delphone Hubbard, a spokesperson for the Little Rock Fire Department, confirmed the pilot’s death and the extensive damage to the aircraft. The NTSB is taking charge of the investigation, with a team expected to arrive in Little Rock on Monday to determine the crash’s cause. Preliminary reports from the NTSB are typically issued approximately two weeks after an accident.

4. Previous Incident and Airport History

This unfortunate event occurred nearly 11 months after another plane crash on February 22. The previous incident involved a 1986 model Beech B200 twin-engine aircraft that crashed after taking off from the same airport, resulting in the death of all five people on board. The airport expressed condolences, stating, “Our thoughts are with the victim’s family and all impacted by this tragedy,” in a Facebook post.

5. Limited Information and Ongoing Investigation

As of now, information about the specific cause of the crash is limited. Witnesses reported seeing black smoke in the air after the incident. The FAA and NTSB are working to determine the exact circumstances leading to the loss of the Cirrus SR-22. Updates will be provided as the investigation unfolds.

6. Conclusion

The Little Rock community is grappling with the loss of William Cope in this tragic plane crash. Authorities are diligently investigating the incident to understand the factors contributing to the accident. The aftermath of the crash has once again brought attention to the safety and protocols at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.

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