The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

January 2, 2013

Mom: Boy didn't steal plane in crash

(Continued)

The plane had departed from the small airport around 10:30 p.m. in overcast skies and a low cloud ceiling, airport manager Edwin Banks said.

"It was a student pilot flying an airplane without permission, an airplane that he was not qualified to fly at night," Banks said.

The teenage pilot had flown a single-engine airplane in the past "and he got in a double-engine at night in bad weather with a couple of his buddies," Banks said.

The Piper PA 30 is also called a Piper Twin Comanche. It is a low-wing plane with two propellers and can seat four to six, depending on the model.

The planes were built from 1963 until 1972, and were popular with flight schools because of their fuel efficiency and relatively inexpensive price tags, according to the International Comanche Society, an enthusiasts' group.

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