I am not sure how many people knew about this. Taryn was a newly commissioned 2nd Lt and USAFA grad that was going through some civilian flight school (not military UPT). The light aircraft she was co-piloting hit some high power lines outside of Pleasanton TX back in Sept of 2005. The pilot, Col. (Ret.) James L. Weaver, also a USAFA grad Class of 1963, was killed instantly. Tayrn somehow survived, and although badly burned and with a broken neck, managed to crawl away from the crash site. She had been in Brooke Army Medical Center since the accident trying to recover from her massive injuries.
I am sad to report that Taryn passed away on 10 Jan 2006. Yes, this is late news but there were a few here that were aware of the crash.
God Speed. May you suffer no more.
The Pleasanton Express Online Edition
Plane crash claims pilot's life
Gerald Black, News Editor - Wednesday, September 28, 2005
DPS Trooper Clint Walker walks among the wreckage of the single engine plane off of Hwy 476, between Pleasanton and Poteet. The pilot, James L. Weaver , 64, was killed . Taryn Robinson, 22, a U.S. Air Force flight student is in critical condition. The splintered poles where the power line was clipped are in the background. A brush fire threatened homes in the area, but was quickly contained by the Pleasanton Volunteer Firemen. (Photo by Daniel Elizondo)
The calmness in Pleasanton was shattered Wednesday morning, September 21, when a small plane crashed in a field on the northwest edge of the city.
The crash of the small single-engine plane occurred just after 11:30 a.m. when it struck a large electrical junction line, rolled over, landed upside down and burst into flames.
The leased aircraft was used by the Stinson School of Flying, which operates from Stinson Field in south San Antonio. On board were the school's flight instructor, James L. Weaver, age 64, and student Taryn Robinson, age 22.
Robinson is a U.S. Air Force flight student being trained for her commercial license under military contract in the school's 60-flight-hour course.
Burning, the injured Robinson managed to crawl out of the plane before collapsing.
“The lights flickered,” recalls Pleasanton ISD Purchasing Director Frank Dodson, who was working across Hwy. 476 and waiting for his two sons to join him for lunch. The plans were being interrupted. Frank Dodson's sons, Trey Dodson, age 29, and Kenneth Dodson, age 23, were driving nearby when they noticed the flames and smoke from the burning plane. About the same time, Lytle Propane employee Steve Sanders was driving along the same stretch of highway and noticed the crash.
The men stopped their vehicles and all three courageously rushed into the field to the crash site. Steve and Trey noticed Taryn on the ground next to the burning plane and pulled her to safety. Her clothing had already burned off her body, so Steve removed his shirt and covered her. Kenneth, a recent Texas A&M graduate, and brother Trey, a Houston firefighter visiting his parents, tried to determine if anyone else was in the plane. There was. Trey began running back to his vehicle because he always carries his firefighting gear. However, before he could make the distance, the plane exploded into even bigger flames. The men knew it was too late to extract Weaver from the burning wreckage.
Law enforcement officers, emergency medical personnel, workers in the area and passing motorists quickly converged on the area. EMS began emergency care for Taryn and prepared her for transport by Critical Air helicopter flying out of Kerrville. The helicopter took the young flight student to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.
DPS Trooper Lucian Ebrom, who began the investigation, said this week Taryn suffered burns over 80% of her body. In the burn areas, 60% was 3rd degree and 40% was 2nd degree burns.
The trooper said he has spoken with Taryn's mother, who reported her daughter is in a medically induced coma to allow the burns to heal before surgeons can work on her many broken bones - including a broken neck.
Everyone is stunned that she was able to crawl out of the crashed plane. The mother also related that family and the BAMC medical staff are even more stunned on how well she is responding to treatment. Her condition has been upgraded to critical but stable (even though she is in a induced coma).
Trooper Ebrom said Monday that he was assisted at the scene by the Trooper Clint Walker; the Atascosa County Sheriff's Department; Pleasanton Police Department; Volunteer Fire Departments from Pleasanton, Poteet and Jourdanton; Critical Air and Atascosa County EMS.
The crash site was located on property owned by Jeff Phillips. Approximately four acres of the field were destroyed by the fire, according to Trooper Walker.
DPS contacted the John Bures of the FAA, who is conducting part of the investigation. Bures said he is currently making the preliminary investigation. Some of the work will be a complete tear-down of the aircraft to determine if the mechanical parts were working correctly and the “airworthiness” of the plane. He will also research information to learn if all FAA procedures were observed.
At the same time, Bures said, the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash to determine the probable cause.