KBest News has learned more details in the small plane crash that claimed the life of one man last Friday night. Howard County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that the pilot of the small racing plane, Beat Burkart, age 50, from Switzerland, and was in Big Spring working on the development of racing planes in a hangar at the Big Spring Airport. He took his plane up for a test flight at approximately 8:15 last Friday evening, August 23rd when witnesses saw it go down in a pasture a short time later.
Sheriff Stan Parker tells KBest Media that the search for the man and his plane was greatly impeded by darkness, and that assistance from the U.S. Air Force was requested. Air Force Recovery in Boca Raton, FL was notified and was able to pinpoint the coordinates of the plane from the final time the transponder signal was recorded. Searchers on the ground were then able to locate the plane within 300 yards of the last known coordinates which was near the Lomax area on a private ranch near FM 818.
The pilot was found deceased at the scene. The case was then turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board who are still actively investigating the crash.