Elzie M. McDonald Obituary – An 88-year-old Arizona pilot was killed when a single-engine Mooney M20 airplane crashed in Plano, Texas, outside of a diner Tuesday evening. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and FAA officials on Wednesday confirmed the pilot was the only person board when the crash happened shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday.
WFAA reports the plane went down outside of the shopping center that houses the restaurant. Officials have identified the pilot as Elzie M. McDonald, from Arizona. “McDonald was just days away from celebrating his 88th birthday,” the Plano Police Department wrote in a tweet.
Brian Rutt, the NTSB investigator, said in an update Wednesday that the plane crashed and caught fire. No one on the ground was injured, Rutt said, but a nearby vehicle also caught fire and was destroyed. Dashcam video shows the plane moments before the crash.
Rutt did not have many details to share Wednesday, as officials were in the early stages of their investigation. He said investigators were still looking to see if the plane had any type of data recorder on board, or a communication device; those devices are not required on planes such as the Mooney M20, Rutt said.
The site of the crash is located less than half a mile from a nearby, single-runway airport called the Air Park-Dallas Airport. Sources tell WFAA that the plane took off from this location shortly before crashing.
The FAA preliminary report released Wednesday morning said the crash happened “while executing a go around,” but more information was not released.