BAYVIEW — Two men were killed after the tiny sports plane which they were flying crashed as it approached landing at a remote air strip late Tuesday night, a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper said Wednesday.
Grover Abel, 78, of Houston and Kai Uwe Wulff, 51, of Brownsville were killed after Abel’s N449JP aircraft crashed as it tried to land at the Port Isabel-Cameron County Airport at about 11:58 p.m. Tuesday, Lt. Christopher Olivarez and family members said.
“The cause of the crash is an unknown at this time,” Olivarez stated in a press release.
Troopers, state game wardens and sheriff’s deputies found the bodies of Abel and Wulff, his flying instructor, in a field near the airport outside of Bayview, Olivarez and family members said.
“It was a sports plane that crashed on landing,” Jeffrey Abel, Abel’s son from Houston, said after arriving in Harlingen. “He was an avid outdoorsman. It’s just shocking.”
Bill Wright, Grover Abel’s brother-in-law in Abilene, said Abel was taking his first flight in what was described as a “glider.”
“They had taken off from an airport on his first flight and he was coming in for a landing,” Wright said. “Evidently, it crashed on approach to the landing. It wasn’t a real airplane. It was a glider with an engine. It has no cockpit.”
The Federal Aviation Administration was investigation the crash, Olivarez said.