Pilot identified in crash

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Shown are the remains of the plane that crashed near South Alabama Regional Airport Sunday night. |Photo courtesy of Doug Gooden, WSFA

The man who died in a fiery airplane crash in Covin-gton County Sunday afternoon has been identified as Doug Dahl of Indian Hills, Colo.

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials arrived here Monday to investigate the accident that occurred about three-quarters of a mile from the South Alabama Airport. Lead investigator Butch Wilson talked to the media yesterday afternoon.

Wilson said there were several eyewitnesses, two of whom were questioned on Monday.

The pilot took off from SARA about 4:25 p.m. Sunday in a Clabaugh Experimental Amateur Built Barracuda, a wooden plane, he said. The fixed wing, single-engine plane was manufactured in 2008, according to the FAA Registry.

The crash occurred just before 5, Wilson said, adding that it will likely be days before he can determine the cause because the plane’s remains were so badly burned.

The plane had been at the South Alabama Regional Airport since May, he said, adding that there was a previous incident in which the plane landed here without landing gear.

“On May 6, the landing gear was not working,” Wilson said. “(The pilot) did a very good job bringing it in.”

Those who had worked with Dahl said he was preparing to take the plane home. He had not filed a flight plan, Wilson said.

Dahl, who was 58, was a contractor in Colorado.

Wilson was complimentary of county sheriff’s department and the airport authority.

“They have been wonderful to work with,” he said.

NTSB officials limited media access to two representatives and chose representatives of two Montgomery television stations to visit the site, which officials had to reach with ATVs.