Plane crash kills Southlake brothers, their father and uncle

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by WENDY CORONA

WFAA

Posted on October 7, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 4:23 PM

Fatal plane crash

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SOUTHLAKE — Investigators are looking for the cause of Saturday's small plane crash in Van Zandt County that claimed the lives of all four aboard, including a Southlake dentist and two teenage sons.

The final tweets from Paul and Mason Ledet expressed excitement for the weekend ahead: "Ole Miss bound" and "Mississippi Trippin'."

Their joy would soon turn to agony for family and friends.

"It's just a horrible, horrible loss," said Michael Browning, Paul Ledet’s friend.

Paul and Mason were aboard a small plane with their father, Dr. Leonard Ledet, and uncle Gregory Ledet on Saturday morning. They lifted off at 9:09 a.m. from Roanoke's Northwest Regional Airport destined for Clarksdale, Mississippi, with a planned fuel stop in Athens, Texas.

It's believed weather diverted the single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza to Terrell, Texas, where it crashed in a pasture seven miles from a runway after disappearing from radar screens after 30 minutes in the air.

The wreckage wasn't located until late Saturday night in the middle of a pasture in Van Zandt County.

The Northwest Regional Airport said Dr. Ledet had been flying his Beechcraft Bonanza out of the airport for the past year, often traveling with his brother.

A Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter spotted the wreckage just before 9 p.m. Saturday, about 7 miles short of a runway.

At the crash site Sunday morning, long time resident Ladonna Anderson said an abundance of prayers are going out to the Ledet family.

"It's a very tragic event that touches all of us in this community," she said.

Paul Ledet, 17, was a junior at Carroll Senior High School; 13-year-old Mason was an 8th grader at Carroll Middle School.

"Our hearts are heavy in Carroll ISD at the news of such great loss within our Dragon family," the district said in a written statement. "Our counselors and staff stand ready to serve and assist students upon their return to class Tuesday."

Christopher Browning worked with Paul Ledet at Urban Air Trampoline Park in Southlake. He got a phone call at 2 a.m. Sunday alerting him to the tragic news.

"He just brought so much joy, and he was really, really good," Browning said. "He was one of those people we wanted interacting with the customers because he really brought to the facility just so much joy, and I just can't explain."

The following statement was released by the Ledet family on Sunday:

"The family thanks everyone for their thoughts and prayers — particularly the prayers — during this difficult time. They ask that you please respect their privacy as they grieve the loss of their loved ones."

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the cause of the crash.

E-mail wcorona@wfaa.com

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