Fuselage removed from South Bend home after deadly jet crash
Posted: 03/19/2013 at 8:50 pm
By: Associated Press
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Portions of the jet are lifted by a crane before being put on a flatbed truck Tuesday, March 19, 2013, from a home along Iowa Street in South Bend. The private jet crashed Sunday near the South Bend Regional Airport, killing two men on board, including former Oklahoma University quarterback Steve Davis. The jet from Sunday’s crash was taken to a hangar in the South Bend Regional Airport for further investigation. (AP Photo/South Bend Tribune, Greg Swiercz)
This undated photo provided by OU Athletics Communications shows quarterback Steve Davis playing football. A University of Oklahoma official says the starting quarterback for Oklahoma's national championship teams in 1974 and 1975 is one of two men killed when a small plane slammed into a house in northern Indiana on Sunday, March 17, 2013. St. Joseph County Coroner Randy Magdalinski identified the victims of Sunday's crash as 60-year-old Steven Davis and 58-year-old Wesley Caves, both of Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/OU Athletics Communications)
Portions of a jet are lifted by a crane before being put on a flatbed truck Tuesday, March 19, from a home along Iowa Street in South Bend. The private jet crashed Sunday near the South Bend Regional Airport, killing two men on board, including former Oklahoma University quarterback Steve Davis. The jet from Sunday’s crash was taken to a hangar in the South Bend Regional Airport for further investigation.
AP Photo/South Bend Tribune, Greg Swiercz
In this March 17, 2013, photo, the front end of a Hawker Beachcraft Premier jet sits in a room of a home on Iowa Street in South Bend. Federal investigators say former University of Oklahoma quarterback Steve Davis and friend Tulsa, Okla., businessman Wes Caves were the flight crew for the private jet that crashed into a northern Indiana neighborhood. Davis and Caves died Sunday when the plane crashed into three houses near the South Bend Regional Airport. The two passengers and a resident of one of the homes were injured. (AP Photo/South Bend Tribune, Mike Hartman)
Meanwhile, barricades were removed from the South Bend neighborhood and all residents who were evacuated following Sunday’s crash, except for those living in the three homes that were struck, were allowed to return home Tuesday.
“It sure does feel good to be home,” said Stan Klaybor, who lives across the street from the homes that were struck.
Frank Sojka said he’d never really worried about living so close to the South Bend Regional Airport until the jet sheared the roof off the house where he’s lived for 55 of his 84 years.
“I never worried about it, but I thought about it,” he said with a chuckle. “Now I’m worried about it.”
Sojka said he was in the front bedroom Sunday when he heard a loud, dull sound and went to his living room.
“I could see the sky through the ceiling and all kinds of debris in the far end of the living room,” he said.
The private jet originating from Tulsa, Okla., crashed into three homes Sunday, killing former Oklahoma University quarterback Steve Davis who led Oklahoma to back-to-back national championships in the 1970s, and his friend, Wes Caves, a Tulsa businessman. Davis, 60, and Caves, 58, were the jet’s flight crew. Funeral services for both are still pending in Tulsa.
The crash occurred after two aborted attempted landings at South Bend Regional Airport. It wasn’t immediately clear who was at the controls when it crashed.
Two passengers and a woman residing in one of the damaged homes remained hospitalized Tuesday.
Nearly 8,000 small private planes take off and land at the northern Indiana airport each year, said Michael Guljas, the airport’s director of administration and finance. But in his 30 years working at the airport, he has never seen anything like Sunday’s crash.
“During my time here we’ve never had a plane go into a neighborhood,” he said.
The most similar incident to occur near the airport was in 2004, when two pilots safely landed a disabled single-engine aircraft on a heavily traveled state highway.
National Transportation Safety Board statistics show nearly 200 planes crashed into residential areas during a five-year period beginning in 2003. But since 2008, the agency has not distinguished between crashes involving homes and those involving other buildings.
Some crashes into homes have proven deadly. A regional airliner crash into a home near Buffalo, N.Y., in February 2009 killed 50 people. In January, three people were killed when their plane crashed into a Palm Coast in Florida while trying for an emergency landing at a nearby airport. No one on the ground was seriously injured.
Associated Press writer Charles Wilson in Indianapolis contributed to this report.