A Pakistani-American businessman learning to fly his own aircraft has been killed along with three others, including two children, when the plane crashed in a forest near an airport in the US state of Texas.
40-year-old Amjad Sultan was learning to fly his own plane along with his flight instructor when the single-engine Cirrus SR-20 aircraft crashed yesterday near the Navasota Municipal Airport, Grimes County Sheriff Donald Sowell said. Sultan’s girlfriend’s two young daughters were along with him for the ride when the plane crashed.
“No citizens saw it that we know of,” Sowell said. “Thank goodness there’s no homes in the area, it’s a rural area, not a habituated area.”
The plane was discovered at around 9:20 am by a pilot flying near the Navasota airport, who spotted the wreckage in a partly wooded area close to the airport’s runway, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesperson Lynn Lunsford said.
Investigators say there was no call for help to give them any clues as to what might have happened, ABC News reported.
All four passengers were confirmed dead, Sowell said. According to the FAA’s registry, the plane is registered to Air Akhtar, a Houston heating and air conditioning company.
The plane departed from David Wayne Hooks Airport in Houston at 8:17 am before crashing nearly an hour later in a wooded field just off a winding asphalt road that leads to a quiet open field, Houston Chronicle reported.
Jeff Akhtar, Sultan’s elder brother, said, “He was the American dream.” Sultan was a successful businessman who lived the American dream after moving from Pakistan 30 years ago.
“I want to fly the plane before I die so last month he bought it and this month he died,” Akhtar quoted his brother as telling him. He said his brother was learning to fly his own plane and was with his flight instructor when the crash happened. He had been training about two months. “It’s an accident, nobody’s fault. I hold nobody responsible for that, not even him. That’s why we pray,” Akhtar said.