Pilot dies in Memphis airport crash

Nov. 30, 2009 at 3:27 PM
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MEMPHIS, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- A Memphis man died when a small plane he was piloting crashed at Memphis International Airport, friends say.

They identified Emmett O'Ryan, 57, as the victim of the Sunday night accident, in which he was flying home from a family Thanksgiving holiday in West Virginia along with his daughter, son and another passenger, none of whom were seriously hurt, The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal reported.

Longtime friend Lane Carrick told the newspaper the family had spent the holiday at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.V., where O'Ryan, an avid golfer, owned a home.

Scott Brockman, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Memphis/Shelby County Airport Authority, reportedly said there were no distress calls from the craft, which authorities said suddenly changed course before landing and slammed into a low abutment just in front of the runway.

The Commercial Appeal said Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board commenced officials had launched an investigation to determine what caused the crash.

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