Idalou, TX Single Engline Plane Crash, May 1982


Idalou, Texas (AP) - Four people were killed Wednesday when a single-engine airplane crashed during a thunderstorm, and officials said the plane may have flown into a tornado.
Wreckage of the Piper Cherokee plane was found scattered in a cotton field three miles east of Idalou, a community 11 miles east of Lubbock.
"We don't feel the impact (of the crash) was enough to send the bodies as far away as they got sent," said Don Stapleton, chief administrator of the Lubbock County sheriff's office.
Three bodies were found 250 feet from the point of impact and the fourth was found 400 feet away, he said. Parts of the plane were as far as 400 feet away.
"The wreckage itself is really not consistent with an airplane crashing like that," Stapleton said, adding that the plane had been flying west but when it crashed appeared headed east.
"We're looking at the possibility that maybe the plane flew into a tornado or hit a tornado close to the ground."
The four people killed were pilot GUY GOVAN, 28, of Wichita, Kan., and passengers BILLY RAYMOND BOICE, 38, of Duncan, Okla., LESLIE PSHIGODA, 34, of Waurika, Okla., and LOLA PSHIGODA, 31, also of Waurika, said Larry Todd, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The National Weather Service said a tornado knocked down some power lines between Lorenzo and Ralls near the time of the crash and that the storm that spawned that twister might have resulted in others as well. Idalou is seven miles west of Lorenzo.
Larry Craig, chief of the control tower at Lubbock International Airport, said the plane had taken off at 3:50 a.m. headed for Duncan, Okla. But later the pilot told the tower by radio that he was returning to Lubbock International and was 40 miles to the east, Craig said.
The plane was picked up on airport radar 10 miles east of the airport and disappeared from the screen when it was nine miles east, at 5:07 a.m., he said.
The plane crashed in a field about 220 yards west of Farm Road 789.
"I was shocked that the plane was broken up as bad as it was," said Deputy Andy Jackson of the Sheriff's Department.

Galveston Daily News Texas 1982-05-13