Crash victim identified as Panhandle man
Fri, 11 Dec 2009 18:23:30 GMT —
Authorities have identified the body of a plane crash victim in Port Mansfield as that of Robert James Robinett of Sunray, Texas.
Willacy County Sheriff Larry Spence told Action 4 News that Robinett was one of two men who were reported missing after their plane went down in the Laguna Madre on Thursday night.
Sheriff Spence said authorities recovered the 48-year-old man's body early Friday afternoon.
The sheriff told Action 4 News that Robinett and his brother-in-law were the only two people aboard the plane.
Authorities did not release the name of the brother-in-law but Sheriff Spence said authorities are still trying to locate Robinett's brother-in-law in hopes that he may still be alive.
Action 4 News has learned that the Robinett's brother-in-law is Harvey Kinikin of Amarillo.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said authorities are still searching for their missing Piper Twin Comanche plane.
Lunsford said the plane took off from Borger in the Texas Panhandle and was supposed to arrive in Port Mansfield around 10:30 p.m. Thursday.
The FAA spokesman said officials had their last radio contact with the pilot when the plane was six miles away from the Charles R. Johnson Airport in Port Mansfield.
Lunsford said no official flight plan had been filed for the plane.
According to the FAA website, the missing plane is registered to James M. Scroggin of Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
Scroggin told Action 4 News' sister station KVII-TV that he sold plane Kinikin six months ago.
Public records show that the FAA issued a pilot's license to Kinikin in July 2008.
Several law enforcement agencies, including the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Willacy County Sheriff's Department and the U.S. Coast Guard are assisting in the search.
Authorities located parts of the plane in the water, a duffel bag full of clothes and paperwork on Friday morning.
DPS officials told Action 4 News that authorities found parts of the fuselage and pieces of the tail.
Lunsford with the FAA reported that a DPS dive team was at the spot where the plane wreckage is believed to be in the water.
Weather reports show that there were no conditions that could have interfered with instrument flight rules.
Clouds were reported to be at 2,500 feet with light northern winds recorded at gusts only up to 18 mph.
Action 4 News will post more information as it becomes available.