10 Dead In Texas King Air Crash (Updated)


Local officials in Addison, Texas, have confirmed that all 10 people aboard died in the crash of a King Air 350 Sunday morning. The aircraft was taking off from the airport near Dallas when it struck a hangar and caught fire. There were no people in the hangar but at least one business jet could be seen inside in photos taken from the field. Officials did not release any details about the occupants or the ownership of the aircraft by our press time.

Update: The victims have been identified as interior designer Ornella Ellard, her husband Brian Ellard, her daughter Alice Maritato, 15, and son Dylan Maritato, 13. Among the other victims identified were Plano residents Steve Thelen, 58, and his wife Gina Thelen, 57, and 27-year-old Matthew Palmer. The names of the crew members have not been released.

The crash caused significant impact and fire damage to the hangar. Addison city spokesman Edward Martelle told The Associated Press that the fire was put out quickly by airport firefighters. The NTSB will send an investigative team. It was the second crash of a King Air in a little more than a week. Last Saturday, a King Air 65 carrying 11 people, most of them skydivers, crashed while taking off from Dillingham Airfield on Oahu in Hawaii. Everyone died in that crash.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. It’s a very early King Air, a 65-A90 or simply 65-90. The King Air evolved from the Queen Air when turbine engines were added and the “A90” was added to the designation. Eventually it became simply a BE-90 without the “65” and know as B90, C90, etc.

  2. A 350 should be able to climb out after losing an engine unless the pilot rotated early or miscalculated his take-off weight or overloaded the plane, so sad for all involved.

  3. I just saw a review of the Texas King Air on AOPA Live on YouTube. It seems like a fine aircraft-very modern and luxurious. I’m not sure how an accident like this could happen.

  4. Be interesting to see the credentials of the crew. To Quote Sully: “There simply is no substitute for experience when flying aircraft. Many flight departments are staffing with very low time pilots with very limited flying skills. Modern GA aircraft are keeping the fatalities down with the magic automated systems. BUT, they cannot cover poor flying skills when the automated systems fail. KA 350 is a exceptionally great plane. But can be challenging with an engine loss.

  5. I wonder if there’s a correlation or trend between many retiring senior pilots with high time being replaced with many low time pilots not paired with a senior one to gradually pick up valuable experience before being pic.