Engine failure likely cause of Fulton plane crash

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FULTON - Three men from Little Rock, Arkansas are recovering at University Hospital in Columbia after a plane crash at the Fulton Elton Hensley Memorial Airport yesterday evening.

A friend of the pilot's told KOMU 8 News that all three men suffered back injuries and one was still in surgery Tuesday afternoon.

The pilot of the twin-engine Cessna plane was 63-year-old Ted Douglas Berg. The two passengers were 72-year-old Michael W. Ford and 43-year-old Richard Williams. The three were in Fulton on business looking into buying a new aircraft. As the group was attempting to take off to head back to Little Rock, one of the engines died out.

Bill Henry, a friend of Berg's drove from Arkansas to Columbia with Berg's wife.

"I came in to see my buddy Ted," Bill Henry said. "I brought his wife up here and we headed out from Little Rock about 8:30 last night and rolled into town about 3:30 this morning and went up and waited in the ICU for him to come out."

"It's pretty apparent the engine quit," Henry said. "You do the best you can and you know the best thing about this is everybody came out alive."

Henry said the pilot had thousands of hours of experience operating aircrafts.

Other pilots told KOMU 8 News that a design deficiency could have impacted the severity of the crash. One pilot said a longer and flatter runway would have allowed the pilot more time to shut down the plane's other engine before crashing.

An investigator with the FAA arrived on the scene around noon and conducted a federal investigation.