Update: Investigation ongoing in fatality plane crash

CRUMPLED DEBRIS continues to smoke on this small Cessna airplane following a fiery crash that claimed the lives of a husband and wife from Manfield, last Thursday, May 9. The cause of the accident will be the focus of what is expected to be a lengthy study by investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, who arrived on scene shortly after local law enforcement officers and emergency personnel took control of the scene. — Standard-Radio Post/Lisa Treiber-Walter

By Lisa Treiber-Walter

UPDATE: Preliminary investigation work by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) into the single-engine airplane crash that claimed two lives near Fredericksburg May 9 has revealed that the pilot had been concerned about bad weather and the plane erupted into flames only after it crashed.

Pilot Donald Frosch, 43, of Mansfield, had called air controllers before the flight seeking weather updates and had told a Fort Worth Spinks Airport employee he was concerned about “beating the (bad) weather” to Fredericksburg after he and wife, Jeanne Frosch, 41, got a late start on their weekend trip here to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

In light of weather forecasts, Frosch filed an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. While in flight, Frosch had also contacted air control seeking a weather update.

On May 10-11, NTSB investigators examining the wreckage in a field about one mile east/southeast of the Gillespie County Airport determined the Cessna Skylane caught fire only after it crashed, leaving a 20-foot-long ground scar and breaking apart and scattering debris.

Read more on this story in this week’s edition on Wednesday, May 22.



The cause of a fiery crash of a small airplane in which two people died here last Thursday, May 9, is under investigation and probably will be for several months, according to Gillespie County Airport Manager Roger Hansen.

Pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Louis Rech were Donald Frosch, 43, and his wife, Jeanne Frosch, 41, of Mansfield (a small town southeast of Fort Worth.)

The two had reportedly filed a flight plan and were traveling from Fort Worth Spinks Airport to the Gillespie County Airport for a Mother’s Day weekend getaway in Fredericksburg, Hansen said.

At about 1:25 p.m., in overcast and light precipitation, the Cessna 182 Skylane crashed in a field near a line of trees close to the 1200 block of Hollmig Lane (off Friendship Lane) and just over a mile short of Gillespie’s landing runway 3-2, Hansen said.

First responders to the scene reported the single-engine, fixed-wing aircraft was “fully engulfed in flames,” although it has not been determined yet if the fire started before the crash or after impact.

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