A look at safety record of plane that crashed near Las Cruces

A look at safety record of plane that crashed near Las Cruces

EL PASO, Texas - ABC-7 has obtained new information about the medical transport plane crash west of Las Cruces.

Four people died, including two El Pasoans.

ABC-7 spoke with Rob Campion, the president of Elite Medical Transport in El Paso.

He confirmed that a cracked engine part was discovered back in December on the Cessna aircraft that went down on Wednesday.

Campion said the engine was sent back to the manufacturer and a new engine was installed in the aircraft nine months ago.

"It's a cabin class, piston engine powered twin engine airplane that Cessna aircraft company made for years," said NTSB investigator Tom Latson, the lead investigator for the National Transportation Safety Bureau. "We'll be carefully documenting all the status of the airplane, the flight controls, the engines and the propellers."

ABC-7 has been looking into the safety record of the Cessna aircraft that exploded on impact, killing a patient, the pilot, a nurse and a paramedic.

The Federal Aviation Administration said they have no prior event history for the aircraft, including accidents, incidents or enforcements.

"I'll be interviewing witnesses that saw the airplane crash," Latson said. "I'll be interviewing the people at the airport that saw it leave and I''ll be interviewing the maintenance personnel of the company and the operations people that manage the company."

The wreckage of the Cessna aircraft is being removed from the site with assistance from Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility trustee crews.

Rob Campion, president of Elite Medical Transport, told ABC-7 his company has turned over all log books, including maintenance records, and pilot training records.   

"For the pilot, especially, I will be thoroughly looking at his medical history and his flight training history and his experience," Latson said.

According to New Mexico State Police, representatives of the plane manufacturing company and engine manufacturing company are on-site with the NTSB during the investigation. They also confirmed the crash was on Bureau of Land Management land and it was on an archaeological site, but there was no damage.

Campion told me that Elite Medical Transport has been in contact with all of the families of those killed in the crash, providing them with "all the resources they need to get through this difficult time." He said public services for all involved are planned for next week.

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