Las Vegas, NV Plane Crashes After Take-Off, Aug 1978


North Las Vegas, Nev. (AP) -- A twin-engine Las Vegas Airlines plane plunged to the ground shortly after taking off from the North Las Vegas Air Terminal today, killing all 10 persons aboard, authorities said.
The Piper Navajo crashed about 7:50 a.m., moments after it left the general aviation terminal northeast of Las Vegas
Chief Deputy Clark County Coroner DICK MAYNE said the plane was on a flight to Santa Ana, Calif. According to the flight plan, MAYNE said, there were 10 persons aboard. A quick inspection said there were no survivors, he said.
DON DONOHUE, a spokesman for the airline, said the plane had a pilot and nine passengers. They were not immediately identified.
Cause of the accident was under investigation.
The blue, white and green plane lay on its belly in a dusty, sage-covered field. The back of the craft was broken, but the plane was relatively intact. It did not catch fire.
Windows had been popped from the plane, and bodies of the passengers were visible, several of them slumped forward in their seats.
RICHARD JAMESON, a Las Vegas contractor and private pilot, was landing at the airport and said he saw the plane go down.
The take-off seemed normal, JAMESON said, "It was climbing, but it violently and suddenly pitched to the right and crashed," he said.
JAMESON said he saw "something falling with the airplane .... it was separate" but landed near the plane. It was not immediately known what the object was.
There were no skid marks, indicating the plane dropped straight down.
The weather was clear, officials said.
The airline has no scheduled flights, DONOHUE says, but flies on an on-call charter basis between Las Vegas and other Nevada and California points.
"It was a high angle impact which means it was steep going in," DONOHUE said. "He (the pilot) took off on schedule, but he never got outside the airport boundary. We can't tell what happened."

Atchison Daily Globe Kansas 1978-08-30