Small plane crash in Detroit: NTSB suspects landing gear problem, fuel emergency

2 people killed in plane crash; 3rd person escapes fiery wreckage

DETROIT – Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) suspect a problem with landing gear and a fuel emergency may have led to a deadly small plane crash Sunday in Detroit. 

A Texas couple was killed when the single-engine plane crashed about 8 p.m. Sunday just a mile from Coleman A. Young International Airport (Detroit City Airport).

Greg Boaz, 54, and Julie Boaz, 48, were traveling from Texas with Greg's 17-year-old son, Peyton Boaz. The teen survived the crash and was able to escape the fiery wreckage. He is at a hospital with his biological mother, who flew into Detroit separately on a commercial flight.

Boaz is currently in critical condition with third-degree burns, officials said.

Julie and Greg Boaz (WDIV)

Only the three of them were on the plane. No one on the ground was injured. 

A single engine propeller plane crashed June 25, 2018 on Detroit's east side. Two people were killed. (WDIV)

Family was to meet in Detroit

The trio was supposed to meet up with the teen's mother for an event in Detroit. But the single engine prop Cessna 210 plane crashed about 8 p.m. Sunday near the intersection of Milton and Eldon avenues, west of Van Dyke Avenue

Local 4 has learned the teen originally was sitting in the front seat on the plane, but during a layover he asked to sit in the back seat because he was cramped. When the plane crashed, his father and stepmother were killed. 

Video shows the teen rolling out of the burning wreckage. He was able exit out of a door. 

What caused this crash?

The plane may have been out of fuel. It had left Texas just before 4 p.m. and after a short layover in Arkansas it was expected to touch down in Detroit just before 8 p.m.

The pilot was circling Detroit City Airport and attempting to land in a grassy area. The tower eventually lost contact. 

The 911 calls started flooding dispatch just after 8 p.m.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating. It may take them a year to finalize their scientific report.

Results from a preliminary NTSB investigation are expected by next week. 

Pilot had 650 hours of flight experience

NTSB investigator Andrew Todd Fox said the pilot had at least 650 hours of experience flying. However, the pilot not have had all of that experience with this 1978 model Cessna. 

"We don't have any conclusions of any probable cause in the accident," said Fox. 

Fox said the pilot did radio the tower that he was experiencing a landing gear "anomaly." He was circling the airport, which may have led to a fuel emergency. 

Watch Fox's full news conference here: 

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.