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November 21, 2011
Oklahoma State University’s (OSU) head basketball coach 50-year-old Kurt Budke and assistant coach 36-year-old Miranda Serna died Thursday in a plane crash near Perryville, Arkansas, reports News Oklahoma.
Also killed were the 82-year-old pilot and his 79-year-old wife.
The airplane was a single-engine Piper that would not meet the OSU team travel policy’s minimum requirement for aircraft to be “powered by two or more turbine engines.”
The school adopted the most strict athletic policies in the nation following a crash in 2001 that devastated its basketball program.
An USO spokesman said that the plane wasn’t required to meet that standard because it was a recruiting trip with no student athletes on board.
“The team travel policy only applies to team travel,” he said. “The coaches, if they're doing other types of travel, like recruiting, it does not fall under that policy.”
Both the age of the pilot and the age of the airplane, which was built in 1964, make some wonder if those were risk factors.
The pilot had a commercial pilot’s license, was a certified flight instructor, and qualified for the plane he was piloting, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
A FAA spokesman said that the pilot had passed his last pilot’s physical in April 2010 and was not due for another until 2012.
He had a clean record with no history of accidents.
What could have happened in this plane crash?
If you or someone you know has had his or her safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, the aviation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy can help.
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