Ken Kalthoff, NBC 5 News
Two people have died after type of jet used during the Soviet-era to train military crashed in a North Texas field. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says law enforcement confirmed that neither of the two people in the two-seat aircraft survived the crash Thursday morning in Kaufman County near Scurry, about 30 miles southeast of Dallas.
Two people died in a fiery plane crash in Kaufman County on Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
The plane went down at about 10:30 a.m. near Scurry, killing both occupants. The plane was destroyed on impact, and only part of the fuselage, wing and canopy were visible among the charred remains.
The pilot of the plane has been identified as 77-year-old Carroll Noell Rather. The passenger was 30-year-old Lee Fisher Floyd. Both men were from Dallas.
FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said the plane was a former Soviet-era military trainer jet, an L-29 Delfin.
The plane took off from the Lancaster Airport, where several L-29s are operated by private pilots.
Former Dallas County Constable Roma Skinner, who operates a plane at the Lancaster Airport, said news of the crash was a shock.
"I'm sure that we do know that person, and we're kind of sad," he said.
Two L-29s are on display at the airport at the Cold War Air Museum.
The museum's Don Stringfellow said the L-29 is a popular option for hobby pilots who want to fly military jets.
"It would be an inexpensive way, and you could actually get these in private ownership, where most American jets are mothballed and not permitted in private ownership," he said.
L-29s were used to train military pilots for service in Soviet MiG jets.
The museum also has a MiG on display.
The wreckage of the crash was spread over a large area along the Trinity River near State Highway 34 between Kaufman and Ennis.
The victims could not immediately be identified. No flight plan was required for a takeoff from Lancaster, so there's on official record of who was on the plane.
"It's very sad, very sad," Skinner said. "Aviation, it's a risk everybody takes. You get on an airline, you never know if you're going to get back."
The cause of the crash is under investigation by the FAA and National Transportation Safety Bureau.
NBC 5's Frank Heinz contributed to this report.