New Mexico plane crash: High winds blamed

New Mexico plane crash proves fatal for family of four. An Angel Fire, New Mexico, airport official said the pilot lost control of the single-engine plane during takeoff due to high cross winds.

By , Associated Press

Four people died at the airport in the northern New Mexico community of Angel Fire after the single-engine plane they were traveling in crashed as it was taking off.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the cause of the crash was unknown, but noted that the area was experiencing heavy winds at the time of the crash Sunday afternoon. The plane's destination wasn't immediately known.

The ABQJournal.com reports that a family of four died in the crash:

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Carl Shilcutt, who is the weekend relief for the airport manager, said the wind was gusting at 48 knots, or about 55 miles per hour. He said the plane carried a family from San Antonio, Texas, including two children.

“We had very strong cross winds at the time, and he simply lost control,” Shilcutt said.

The single-engine Mooney aircraft spiraled into the ground, he said. At the small airport, it’s up to individual pilots to decide whether to fly or not.

No information was available about the two adults and two children aboard the single-engine Mooney plane.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and FAA are on their way to the site.

Angel Fire is located 150 miles northeast of Albuquerque. The plane was owned by a company in Scottsville, Texas.

Highway 434, which runs past the airport, was shut down in both directions due to the crash.

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