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TPWD News Release — Aug. 22, 2005

TPWD Game Warden Field Notes

The following are excerpts from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.

Heroic Effort — A Grayson County Game Warden was patrolling the no wake zone at Eisenhower Yacht Club Marina on Lake Texoma, which was one of the checkpoints for a poker-run being held one recent afternoon. As the 100-plus mile-per- hour speedboats were starting to arrive, an acrobatic stunt plane began making several illegal low-altitude passes over the marina and arriving speedboats. On one of the passes, the game warden noticed that the plane’s engine sputtered a couple of times as it passed by. A few minutes later, the warden heard the plane again and looked up in time to see the plane coming down toward the marina at a steep angle with smoke coming from the engine. The warden saw the plane crash into the water in the middle of one of the marina coves, narrowly missing the roof of one boathouse and coming within 40 yards of another boathouse on the opposite side of the cove. The plane hit within 150 yards of where the game warden was. The warden immediately radioed Grayson County requesting emergency personnel. Then, with the help of numerous boaters in the marina, the warden began trying to rescue the pilot. The warden tied the sinking plane to his patrol boat to keep it from sinking in the 50-foot water while the volunteers in the water frantically attempted to remove the pilot from the plane. Within a few minutes, a marine barge with a crane arrived and lifted the plane out of the water far enough to remove the deceased pilot. It was determined that the pilot died upon impact. After interviewing numerous witnesses, it was determined that just before the crash, the pilot had performed a Hammerhead Stall maneuver over the marina, had engine problems and never recovered from the maneuver.