No injuries in small plane mishap

Published 7:56 pm Tuesday, May 2, 2023

An out-of-state couple was not injured Monday, May 1, when their small aircraft ran off the runway at the Panola County Airport. First responders from across the county rushed to the scene when a short dispatch went out over emergency channels at 1:50 p.m., simply stating there had been a plane crash.

Deputies and county Emergency Operations Management employees arrived quickly to find the plane with little damage and unhurt passengers. The couple did not receive medial attention, although they were shaken by the incident.

Daniel Cole, EOM director, said he believed wind was a factor in the accident, and was thankful the aircraft didn’t tip over and potentially causing injuries. He said the Federal Aviation Authority and the National Transportation Safety Board had been contacted and would send representatives to Batesville to document the mishap and make a report.

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Cole said a wheel appeared to have been broken from a landing gear and the plane had a small fuel leak, but there were no other apparent damages. The plane can’t leave the airport until the federal authorities have accessed and recorded the accident.

“There was a strong crosswind in the county about the time they were arriving so I really think that’s what the investigation will determine happened, but we will wait and see,” Cole said. “We are just thankful the husband and wife were not hurt.”

Why the couple had stopped at the Batesville airport was unclear, but it appeared they were on a longer trip and chose KPMU to refuel. 

The Panola County Board of Supervisors, working with Panola Partnership and the Airport Board, have approved funding for major upgrades at the facility in the past year and worked with state and federal officials for increased financial support.