Mobile businessman Robert Paulk, injured in Iowa plane crash

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Iowa Plane Crash, originally uploaded by rsdscrpsnews.

Mobile businessman Robert Paulk, injured in Iowa plane crash

Last Update: 7/20/2006 11:55:55 PM

(Click here to watch the video of this story)

(MOBILE, Ala.) July 20 — A Mobile businessman is one of those injured in a small plane crash that killed two pilots and injured another passenger. The plane went down in a northeastern Iowa cornfield near the Cresco Airport, just south of the Minnesota border Wednesday around 11:10 a.m. Robert Paulk, president of Paulk Moving and Storage in Mobile, is listed in critical condition at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

The Howard County Sheriff’s Office said pilots Clyde Lewis and William Eisner, both of Jackson, Miss., were killed. The other passenger, Johnny Fayard, 51, the owner of John Fayard Moving and Warehousing in Gulfport, MS still is unconscious but is in stable condition at Gunderson Lutheran Hospital in La Cross, Wis.

Federal officials were in Cresco Thursday trying to figure out what caused the Cessna Citation jet to go down. The plane overshot a runway, crossed a highway and plowed into a cornfield.

The flight, which began in Oxford, MS, was headed for Rochester, Minn., however, family members have said the eventual destination was the Mayo Clinic where Johnny Fayard was scheduled to receive a brace for his foot and leg. Fayard suffers from reflex sympathetic dystrophy, or RSD, a painful, neurological condition that usually develops from an injury.

The National Weather Service reported there were thunderstorms moving through the Cresco area at the time of the plane crash.

Click Here For The Original Article Online

Other versions of story posted below…

July 21, 2006

Investigations ongoing in pair of plane crashes

# Families, friends mourn four men killed in two separate accidents

By Chris Joyner
chris.joyner@jackson.gannett.com

Friends and family are mourning two Jackson-area pilots killed in Wednesday’s plane crash in Cresco, Iowa.

Clyde James “Jim” Lewis, 41, of Brandon and William Eisner of Pearl were killed when the plane overshot the runway, crossed a highway and plowed into a cornfield. The men were employed by Jackson Air Charter, a private charter plane service that operates out of Jackson-Evers International Airport.

Little information about the accident was released Thursday as investigators with the National Transportation Security Board and the Federal Aviation Administration continued to gather information at the scene just south of the Minnesota border. NTSB officials did not return calls seeking comment.

Jeff Lewis said his brother, a Jackson native, had 26 years experience as a pilot, including 15 years with US Airways. He said the family has not been told much about what caused the crash.

“Everything is speculation,” he said.

Jim Lewis is survived by his wife, Leslie, and 10-year-old son, Zachary. Funeral arrangements for Lewis tentatively have been set for Sunday at 3 p.m. at Pinelake Church at 6071 Mississippi 25 in Brandon.

Information on services for Eisner was not available Thursday.

The plane’s two passengers are being treated for their injuries. Robert Paulk of Gulfport is listed in critical condition at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Johnny Fayard, 51, also of Gulfport, was unconscious but in stable condition at Gunderson Lutheran Hospital in La Cross, Wis., according to his wife, Tanya Fayard, who was at the hospital on Thursday.

The Cessna jet crashed in a landing attempt at the Cresco airport around 11:10 a.m.

The flight, which began in Oxford, was destined for Rochester, but Fayard said her husband’s eventual destination was the Mayo Clinic, where he was scheduled to receive a brace for his foot and leg.

Johnny Fayard suffers from reflex sympathetic dystrophy, or RSD, a painful, neurological condition that usually develops from an injury.

Tanya Fayard said she has not heard what caused crash. “We have no clue,” she said.

The National Weather Service reported thunderstorms moving through the Cresco area at the time.

Two men were killed Wednesday in an unrelated small plane accident in Petal.

Life-long Petal resident Ernest R. “Buddy” Myrick, 92, and 49-year-old Jim Hartman of Gulfport were killed when the single-engine plane crashed during or shortly after takeoff from a private airstrip near the intersection of Smithville Drive and Corinth Road in Petal. National Transportation Safety Board air safety investigator Tim LeBaron said preliminary results of the NTSB investigation will be completed by next week, but a full investigation likely will take a year to complete.

He said investigators aren’t sure which man was piloting the plane.

Click Here For The Original Article Online

News > Regional
Friday, July 21, 2006 12:13 PM CDT

Pilots were likely trying to escape storms before crash

By TOM BARTON, Courier Staff Writer
CRESCO — One of the passengers on the ill-fated jet that crashed Wednesday was headed to the Mayo Clinic for treatment.

Johnny Fayard’s wife, Tanya, said her husband was to receive in Rochester, Minn. Johnny and the other passenger, Robert Paulk, both of Gulfport, Miss., are friends and business acquaintances, she said.

Ironically, Paulk was transported to St. Marys Hospital in Rochester. Fayard, however, wound up at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, Wis. Both are listed in critical condition.

Fayard, 51, reportedly suffers from reflex sympathetic dystrophy and was scheduled to receive a leg brace. Also known as complex regional pain syndrome, the condition is a chronic neurological syndrome characterized by severe burning pain, changes in bone and skin, swelling and extreme sensitivity to touch.

Tanya Fayard said doctors sedated her husband to prevent additional damage from head and neck injuries suffered during the crash. Fayard operates a moving and warehouse company in Gulfport.

The pilots — Clyde Lewis, 42, and William Eisner, 62, both of Jackson, Miss. — died at the scene. Both were licensed and certified commercial airmen, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

The plane, a 10-passenger Cessna Citation 560, apparently overshot the runway, according to law enforcement officials. The flight ended along a tree line in a cornfield after the airplane vaulted across Iowa Highway 9.

FAA and National Transportation Safety Board officials resumed efforts Thursday morning to determine a cause for the incident.

Much is still unknown, but local aviation specialists speculate the small twin-engine jet flew into rough weather and that the pilots were attempting an emergency landing at Ellen Church Airfield in Cresco.

“The weather was horrible. It was nasty out there,” said Paul Roloff, sales manager with McCandless Aviation in Waterloo.

A storm front moved through Northeast Iowa late Wednesday morning, and the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning. The weather service in La Crosse also issued a hazardous weather outlook for the area.

Airport officials in Waterloo, Rochester, Dubuque and Mason City issued no ground stops. Technically, the FAA doesn’t close airports but a ground stop prohibits aircraft from taking off and can divert incoming flights.

Roloff said rapidly developing storms perhaps forced the plane’s pilots to find a close place to land.

“I think the weather was such that they were just trying to get on the ground,” he said.

Roloff added that landing at Cresco put the pilots in a “tight spot.”

The Cresco airport has 3,000-foot runway, too short for a twin-engine jet that requires 3,500 feet for takeoffs, according to Cessna specifications on its aircraft.

“They’ve got enough information on that airplane to know the length of the Cresco runway. They knew they were pushing it, but it was probably their best option,” Roloff said.

Better choices were available, he said, in Waterloo, Mason City and Dubuque.

“For them to land in Cresco, it had to be an emergency situation. It had to be something serious. You wouldn’t do that on a normal day,” Roloff said.

FAA officials recovered the plane’s flight recorder, which was in plain sight and beeping after the crash, according to Iowa State Patrol officers on scene. Details about the plane’s impromptu landing were not available.

FAA records show the plane is registered to Tomco II, which is based in Nashville, Tenn. The company is owned by Dr. Thomas Frist Jr., brother of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Thomas Frist was leasing the craft to GNS Holding pending completion of a sale and was operated by Jackson Air Charter of Jackson, Miss.

According to flight records from Jackson Air Charter, the plane left Jackson, Miss., at 5:55 a.m. Wednesday and made stops in Gulfport, Miss., the Destin and Fort Walton Beach, Fla., airport and Meridian, Miss., before departing Oxford, Miss., at 8:34 a.m.

The plane was scheduled to land in Rochester at 11:02 a.m.

Contact Tom Barton at (319) 291-1570 or tom.barton@wcfcourier.com. The Associate Press contributed to this story.

Click Here For The Original Article Online

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