FROM STAFF REPORTS
LLANO COUNTY — A single-engine plane crash closed down traffic in both directions on Texas 71 for several hours between U.S. 281 and FM 2147 about 2 p.m. May 28.
Burnet County Precinct 4 Commissioner Joe Don Dockery advised drivers to find an alternate route around the area as he expected the road to be closed for several hours.
Dockery, who was one of the first officials on the scene, said it appeared the pilot got into some trouble and was forced to land the plane on the highway about a mile west of the Burnet-Llano county line.
“He was able to get out of the (plane) before it ignited,” Dockery said.
The commissioner added the pilot was walking around but was scuffed up. The man was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Dockery said he anticipated Texas 71 would be closed for several hours since the incident involved an aircraft, which would likely require an Federal Aviation Administration response. Other concerns, the commissioner said, included how the landing and fire would affect the road itself.
“Because it burned to the ground in the middle of the highway, the highway’s probably been compromised. So (the Texas Department of Transportation) will have to check what the situation is — maybe do a dig out and reapply some asphalt, make the road safe again,” Dockery said.
Drivers can chose an alternate route if they are heading west toward Llano by taking U.S. 281 north to FM 2147 in Marble Falls and then cutting west through Horseshoe Bay. Drivers headed east can take the reverse course by taking FM 2147 east through Horseshoe Bay and then south on U.S. 281.
The crash is under investigation.