Local pilot dies in plane crash
By LPR Staff
Austin accountant Mark Ritter must have expected Sunday to be an average day. He drove to the Lockhart Municipal Airport and flew to Brenham to meet friends for lunch. The experienced pilot excused himself after lunch, saying he didn’t feel well, and started to fly back to Lockhart. He never made it home.
Ritter, 71, h
oused his experimental RV-10 aircraft at the Lockhart Municipal Airport, and had bought fuel for the craft on Saturday, according to Cheryl Burrier with Martin & Martin Aviation.
“ There are a few [pilots] out here that build RVs, and several of our pilots are going to be participating in the search for him,” she said on Tuesday morning before the wreckage of Ritter’s plane and later, his remains, were found just after noon on Tuesday.
“[Reports] say that he said he wasn’t feeling well when he left Brenham,” said Mark Brown of Lockhart, also a pilot and an acquaintance of Ritter’s, on Tuesday “And he had an autopilot on the plane, so if he wasn’t feeling well and set the autopilot, but passed out or something happened, the plane could have kept going until it ran out of fuel.”
Because he told his lunch companions on Sunday he was not feeling well, there was speculation that a health problem of some sort may have contributed to Ritter’s fatal crash. However, details about the cause of the incident were not available at press time on Wednesday.
Ritter’s plane was found near Giddings on Tuesday, and documentation in the craft led to the identification of his remains.