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Pilot Avoids Residential Area When Single-Engine Plane Crashes in Katy


July 14, 2019

By Jennifer Miko

Investigators are still looking in to the cause of the single-engine plane crashing into a pool maintenance building at the Mason Creek Community Center yesterday morning.

Photo: Harris County ESD 48 Fire Department

The pilot, Noshir Medhora, left the West Houston Airport, located between Barker Cypress and Hwy. 6 Saturday morning. Around 10:30am, the plane crashed near Kingsland Boulevard and Houghton Road in Katy.

The Harris Country ESD 48 Fire Department reported, “The single engine Cessna clipped at least one tree on the east side of Houghton and crashed into the parking lot and then the pool maintenance building of Mason Creek Community Center in the Nottingham Country subdivision.”

Houston Fire Department’s Heavy Rescue Team was called in to help stabilize the pool maintenance building roof and search for additional victims.

69-year-old Medhora was flying alone and was the only casualty from the crash.

Debris from the crash, including the nose of the plane and the engine, landed in one of the pools on the community center's property. Constable Ted Heap, Harris Country Precinct 5, said no one was in the pool at the time of the crash, which was scheduled to open at 11:00am. People were in the nearby clubhouse preparing for a wedding and reported no injuries.

Photo: Harris County ESD 48 Fire Department

“The whole area is residential with a few apartment complexes, Lieutenant Simon VanDyk, Harris County ESD 48 Fire Department, commented on social media. “The FAA will review the flight path and radio traffic but where the plane went down was one of the few areas where there were no people.”

Many people from this residential area of Katy posted on social media how they heard the plane as it neared their homes.

“It appears the pilot did his best to try and avoid collateral damage as he went down,” VanDyk said.

This pilot’s family should remember him as a hero for using his training in an impossible situation,” posted Jennifer Boren. “The pilot knew he was most likely going to die in this crash and managed to not kill anyone else. My sympathies to the family for the loss of their loved one.”

"My wife is a former Mustang Engineering employee and their Facebook page is full of kind words and stories of (Medhora’s) passion for flying,” Van Dyk said. “I feel fairly confident in our initial assumption that he was doing his best to limit the damage to lives and property as he knew he was going to crash.”

Medhora moved to the U.S. from Bombay, India, in 1973. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley and worked as a mechanical engineer at Igloo Corp., Mustang Engineering, Bechtel Engineering, Wood and Exxon Mobil Corp. He is survived by his wife and two adult children.

Several emergency crews and agencies assisted at the crash scene including the Harris County ESD 48 Fire Department, Westlake Volunteer Fire Department, Harris County Fire Marshal, Ted Heap, Harris County Constable Precinct 5 Deputies, Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Houston Fire Department.

“We are fortunate to have the Emergency Chaplain Group in our area," the Harris Country ESD 48 Fire Department wrote on social media. "They were out to support both our crews as well as citizen responders who saw the worst of the scene."

Authorities ask that people not associated with the investigation stay clear of the scene as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be on site for at least the next couple of days.

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