Student Pilot Crashes Stolen Aircraft In Fannin County

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The Texas Department of Public Safety has reported that a student pilot was killed in a plane crash in Fannin County after stealing an aircraft from Addison Airport (ADS).

According to reports, 23-year-old student pilot Logan James stole a single-engine Cessna C172 from ATP Flight School in Addison, Texas on the evening of January 24, 2024 to conduct traffic pattern work. Flying as CXK655 (Career Track 655), James departed Addison Airport around 6:55 p.m. local time, performing a single right hand traffic pattern.

After being cleared for a “touch and go”, James initially read back the clearance, but later informed the tower that he would instead be flying to East Texas. He also added that he was going to disconnect the circuit breakers for the two radios on his aircraft. Here is the ATC transcript between Addison Tower and the aircraft involved:

Addison Tower: Career Track 655, Runway 34, cleared Touch and Go

Career Track 655: Cleared touch and go, Career Track 655

Career Track 655: Addison Tower, Career Track 655 is actually going to depart to the east. I’m climbing up through the clouds and then just going to head outside of everything, and at about right now you’ll probably realize that I’m not going to listen to y’alls instructions, and I’m just heading to East Texas in a career track, so uh I’m going to I’m going to pull the Comm one circuit breaker and the Comm 2 circuit breaker right here as soon as soon as I unkey the mic.

Addison Tower: Career Track 655, Addison Tower, say again.

Addison Tower: Career Track 655, Addison Tower.

Addison Tower: Career Track 655, Addison Tower.

(Addison Tower keeps trying to reach out to Career Track 655 multiple times)

Addison Tower: Career Track 655, Addison Tower. Are you still monitoring this frequency?

According to the track from ADSB Exchange, the aircraft continued east for about 45 minutes, maintaining around 5,500 feet for most of the way. The pilot then headed north, climbing to around 7,400 feet, before turning north west. The pilot then climbed as high as 10,000 feet before entering a steep dive and crashing near the Red River in Fannin County, Texas.

According to the data, the aircraft was descending at more than 5,000 feet per minute during its very final moments, and crashed around 8:17 p.m. local time.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have since launched an investigation into the matter. Texas officials involved in the matter also reported finding a suicide note at a Dallas residence associated with James.

The ATC audio was also clipped by VAS Aviation. You can listen to it here.

Ominous/Suicidal Call and Fatal Crash in Texas

The Cessna C172 involved in the incident was registered N23107, and was built in 2023. It received its certification on January 22, 2024, just days before the incident.

[Featured Photo: Ken Lund/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0 Deed) ]

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