Plane crashes outside mall killing pilot, 87, travelling to his family for Thanksgiving
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Featured Image Credit: 5NBC
A veteran pilot was killed in a plane crash while flying home to see his family for thanksgiving.
Elzie Monroe McDonald, 87, had been flying home for thanksgiving when he crash landed his plane Mooney M20 outside a strip mall in Plano, Texas at around 6pm on November 21, the Texas Department of Public Safety has said.
McDonald was only a few days away from his 88th birthday when the crash happened, according to his family.
He had been flying to the Dallas area to visit them over the Thanksgiving period.
McDonald had been attempting a go-around at the time of the incident. This is an aborted attempt at a landing where a plane flies back up as it approaches its landing.
But instead the plane crashed nose first into the parking lot in a terrifying fireball.
Video from the incident shows the single-engine plane crashing close to the Nail Addiction salon, narrowly missing an employee.
Fortunately, the employee was physically unharmed in the incident, but has been left mentally impacted.
The salon owner told NBC5: "He’s safe but he’s mentally affected.
"He and his wife couldn’t sleep last night. I and my wife couldn’t sleep last night, either. Everyone is still very shocked from the incident."
He was not the only person to be mentally affect by the crash. Nancy Procaccini owns Mama’s Daughters’ Diner next door, and also couldn't sleep after the crash.
She said: "I love my staff. And I love my customers dearly. And it was just so close.
"You know, you could picture yourself being almost in a wreck and it’s like, you can almost feel like you were hit. That’s the way it felt for me."
She added: "If it would've hit just a few more feet, I had people sitting right there: Children, mothers, I had one of my staff members, been with me 35 years sitting there.
"That's what gets you. When you've got so many people in your house—mama's house, that you love."
Witnesses reported hearing a loud boom and seeing the right wing of the aircraft dip before it crashed.
Only McDonald was on board the plane.
The aircraft came down less than a mile away from the Air-Park Dallas Airport. This is an airfield which does not have an air traffic control tower on site.
It has been reported that McDonald has received an FAA Master Pilot Award. This is given to pilots who have flown for 50 years or more.
It is understood that the crash also caused a car on the ground to catch fire, but fortunately there was not anyone inside the vehicle.