Byers, CO Oklahoma State University Plane Crash, Jan 2001

Oklahoma State University plane crash site.jpg Oklahoma State University plane crash memorial.jpg


Byers, Colo. (AP) -- After a snowy day walking through a mile of scattered wreckage, aviation investigators focused on whether an Oklahoma State University chartered plane had been de-iced before takeoff.
"We have some very detailed and painstaking work ahead of us in what are not the best weather conditions," John Hammerschmidt head of the National Transportation Safety Board crash investigation team, said yesterday.
Ten people, including two Oklahoma State basketball players and six staffers, were killed Saturday when the twin-engine plane crashed into a field. The plane had taken off from Jefferson County Airport in light snow and with a visibility of one mile.
The crew were told ice could form on the wings, but investigators said conditions were not harsh enough for authorities to ground the plane.
The Beechcraft King Air 200 Catpass was one of three planes carrying the school's basketball team and associates back to Stillwater, Okla., after they lost to Colorado at Boulder.
No distress call was made before the crash, said Arnold Scott of the NTSB.
Among the victims were Oklahoma State players NATE FLEMING and DANIEL LAWSON; sports information employee WILL HANCOCK; director of basketball operations PAT NOYES and their trainer BRIAN LUINSTRA.
Also killed was student manager JARED WEIBERG, the nephew of Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg; broadcast engineer KENDALL DURFEY; broadcaster BILL TEEGINS; pilot DENVER MILLS and co-pilot BJORN FAHLSTROM.
Oklahoma State sports information director Steve Buzzard said coach Eddie Sutton met with athletic director Terry Don Phillips much of the morning.
"This is a day for, uh ......," Buzzard said, his voice trailing off. "There's
a lot of pain."
Sutton had stayed in his office until after 1 a.m. Sunday, notifying family members and meeting with his grieving players.
Officials scheduled a memorial service for 3 p.m. Wednesday at Gallagher-Iba Arena as a "special time of prayer and a time of thanks, and an uplifting event," Buzzard said.
Buzzard said all three aircraft that were used on the trip were private and they were provided to the university by the alumni and businessmen.
The Big 12 announced yesterday that Oklahoma State's game Tuesday at Texas Tech had been postponed indefinitely.
"The rest of the season will be played. The season will continue," Buzzard said.

The Capital Annapolis Maryland 2001-01-29