Pilot killed in fiery crash landing in Guadalupe County


by Sean Crowley / KENS 5


Posted on June 28, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Updated Friday, Jun 28 at 2:05 PM

GUADALUPE COUNTY -- A pilot from New Braunfels died in a plane crash on Thursday night while attempting to land at Zuehl Airport, about four miles south of Marion.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has identified the deceased as Peter Dankelman. He was 74.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said nobody else was on board the single-engine experimental RV-7A aircraft when it went down around 9 p.m.

Terry O'Mahoney, who lives near the airport, said he was grilling a piece of meat on his back porch when he saw the airplane make a low pass over the airport. The plane then circled around and made a second low pass.

"At that point I, and I think others, realized that he couldn't see the runway," O'Mahoney said.

DPS trooper Anthony Flores was called to the privately owned airfield on Friday morning. He also said Dankelman was having trouble finding the runway.

"In the process, [Dankelman] ended up striking some utility poles, catching some powers lines, causing a fire, and ended up crashing on the ground," Flores said.

Footage from Chopper 5 showed emergency crews on the scene battling to put out flames that consumed the plane after the crash.

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