Skydiver who witnessed Luling crash flew in plane hours before


The Luling airport is still closed to air traffic after a skydiving plane crashed at the end of its runway Tuesday afternoon. We found out Wednesday the plane was owned and operated by Skydive Lone Star.  

The wrecked plane still sits in the pasture where it landed, but investigators have since packed up and left the scene.

Officials have yet to release a cause to the crash, but the plane barely made it off the end of the runway, which is about 100 yards away. 

An eyewitness and a man who went up in the plane before it crashed spoke with KXAN and said everything seemed fine.  

“The pilot was great, we had zero issues with the jumps we had done hundreds of times before. It was like any other day, there was zero cause to think there was anything wrong with the aircraft,” said skydiver Will Bourland.  

Bourland jumped from the plane that crashed just hours before it hit the ground. “We were on the list to go up again after this happened,” he said.  

Waiting for his next turn, he was sitting with other skydivers and watched the plane take off.  

“It didn’t look like anything was wrong, but we were informed very quickly by a customer that it looked like the plane had dipped below the tree line,” said Bourland.  

Law enforcement says five people were on board and all expected to recover. Bourland says those on the plane were professional skydivers.  

“They run a very safe operation out there, I don’t know what the issue was with this, but they run a very safe operation out there,” said Luling City Manager Mike Mayo.  

Inside, the only seat is for the pilot, but buckles hold in up to four other passengers. “We have hundreds of people that go through there all the time and we haven’t heard anything but good from the people that come out and skydive with them,” said Mayo.  

Now skydivers hope this crash doesn’t scare away future thrill seekers. “This shouldn’t detour you from going to jump out of a plane, it’s an amazing sport, it’s an amazing stress relief,” said Bourland.  

The FAA is investigating the crash, saying there’s no update as of right now and a preliminary report of what happened should be available in the next couple of weeks. 

The owner of Skydive Lone Star says all of their paperwork is in order and the FAA released the plane back to the company Wednesday afternoon. “We appreciate everybody’s continued support and we are still going strong in business as usual,” said Skydive Lone Star’s owner Joe Johnson. 

Johnson says the company will be open for business by the end of the week. 

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