Former Midland Sheriff Dies in West Texas Plane Crash
Former Midland Sheriff Dallas Smith is dead as a result of a tragic plane crash.
Details about the Midland Plane Crash
The current Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter said that Smith’s body was discovered among the wreckage of the plane around 3:30 p.m. on Friday. The wreckage was found in a caliche pit about 15 miles south of Garden City.
Sheriff Painter stated that Smith flew out on Thursday in a single engine plane to a ranch in Glasscock County that he was looking to purchase. Authorities began their search for Smith after his family reported that they were unable to reach him.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be further investigating the crash site and determine the cause of the accident.
According to NewsWest 9, Smith served as Sheriff of Midland from 1977 through 1984.
Important Information about the Dangers of Small Aircraft
According to an article in The Washington Post by Gail Sullivan:
- In the United States in 2012, there were roughly 30,800 fatal car accidents, but zero domestic commercial flight accidents.
- While flying domestically is generally considered safe, most plane crashes that happen in the United States happen with small and private planes like the one that Sheriff Smith used.
- In 2012, a total of 440 people died in what are known as “general aviation” accidents across the United States.
- General aviation accidents include gliders, small planes, balloons, and other small aircraft.
- The major cause of aviation accidents in the United States is due to a loss of control of the aircraft by the pilot.
- In many cases, the pilot lost control for multiple reasons like ice buildup on the wings, instrumentation failure, or other issues.