CHEROKEE COUNTY — A Jacksonville woman died Sunday after crashing a small single-engine plane into an airplane hangar in Cherokee County.
Metzig said Debra Birch’s husband Richard Birch told officers it was her third solo flight, and she was practicing taking off and landing the small aircraft.
Once she was in the air, her plane veered to the left and nose-dived into the west side of a hangar missing a steel support beam, Metzig said.
Portions of the cockpit were dangling inside the building, while the tail end fell to the outside between two hangars, Metzig said. Mrs. Birch was hanging by her seat belt inside the hangar unconscious when emergency responders arrived.
Lt. David Glidewell, with the Jacksonville Fire Department, said his crew, along with Rusk and Gallatin volunteer departments, used ladder trucks and a rescue basket to get Mrs. Birch down.
Officers said she was taken by ambulance to East Texas Medical Center in Jacksonville.
Trooper Dark confirmed Mrs. Birch died from her injuries. She said the Federal Aviation Administration would be investigating the incident.