NTSB report showed possible maintenance issues before fatal plane crash | Alert

A single-engine plane that crashed just outside Seguin last month may have had engine problems before takeoff, forcing the plane to crash and kill two people and a dog, say officials.

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board said the Piper PA-28 Cherokee, piloted by Kenneth Francis Chenevert, 67, of Guadalupe County, experienced “maintenance issues” before the reported plane crash around 6:45 p.m. . Friday, July 22 near Elm Creek Airpark in the 3200 block of FM 467 near Tailwind Drive.

Chenevert and his passenger, Jacqueline Nicole Meziere, 45, of Natchitoches, Louisiana, were heading to Natchitoches Regional Airport when the plane crashed just after takeoff, according to the report.

Before taking off, Meziere spoke with a friend on a video call, noting that they were having issues, according to the report.

“The passenger told the friend he had maintenance issues and the pilot could not start the engine,” the report said. “During the video chat, the friend could see that the engine cowling was open. The exact maintenance issues of the aircraft were never discussed.

A photo taken before takeoff showed Chenevert on a wing on the right side of the plane near the door and the cowl – a removable cover over the plane’s engine – had a latch that was not flush with the plane, according to the report.

Another photo taken by an airpark resident as the plane took off also showed the same problem, the report said.

It was also reported to investigators that the pilot noticed a similar problem the day before the crash, the NTSB said.

“Another resident reported that the day before, the crashed aircraft stopped near their residence located near the departure end of Runway 14,” the report said. “The pilot had told the local resident that his hood had opened and that he had to secure it before taking off. The plane left a few minutes later and returned about 45 minutes later.

The plane took off from Elm Creek Airpark on July 22, turned left and then crashed about a quarter mile from the runway, according to the report.

Chenevert, Mézière and a dog were killed in the accident. Guadalupe County Justice of the Peace Pct. 1 Darrell Hunter pronounced both dead and ordered autopsies for both humans, which were performed at the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office.

First responders from the Seguin, Guadalupe County and New Berlin Fire Departments responded to the flaming wreckage and ensuing brush fire.

Firefighters used a bulldozer and garden hoses to battle the grass fire and brought it under control about an hour after the wreckage was reported.

The fire consumed some of the wreckage, but investigators were able to recover major structural components, including the engine top cowl and parts of the lower cowls.

“Altitude could not be determined with preliminary target data,” the report said. “No mechanical abnormalities or malfunctions were found during examination of the wreckage.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and the NTSB investigated the wreckage.