Update: Abilene oil man Tom Taylor killed in plane crash


ABILENE, Texas - Longtime Abilene businessman Tom Taylor was the pilot of a plane that crashed Wednesday west of Lubbock.

Taylor and two other men died in the crash.

Thomas Joseph Taylor was 61. He was prominent in the oil and gas business in the Abilene area for many years and a past president of the National Oil and Gas Association.

He was also an avid hunter and outdoorsman.

His two passengers were Matthew Axtell, 35, of Basalt, Colo., and David Bradley Patton, 51, from an unknown town in Colorado.

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A plane registered to Flying Lazy T LLC in Abilene and traveling from Aspen, Colo., to Brenham crashed Wednesday, killing all three people aboard the aircraft.

The Flying Lazy T LLC is registered with the Federal Aviation Administration as a cattle company.

The plane crashed in Cochran County, which is about 50 miles west of Lubbock and near the New Mexico state line, officials said. The accident may be the result of bad weather.

The victims names weren't immediately released pending notification of next of kin.

Cochran County Sheriff Raymond Weber told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that the plane was discovered about an hour west of Lubbock near Morton. A landowner found the plane on his property, the newspaper said..

According to the FAA, the Piper PA-46 single-engine aircraft disappeared from the air traffic radar about 4:50 p.m. Wednesday.

The National Transportation Safety Board was set to conduct an investigation Thursday.

Here's the latest information from Lynn Lunsford, public information officer for the FAA:

NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) will be releasing any updates. Their investigator is supposed to arrive today.

A Piper PA-46 single-engine aircraft dropped off of air traffic radar at about 4:51 pm for unknown reasons.

The aircraft had departed earlier in the afternoon from Aspen, Colo., on its way to Brenham, Texas.

Law enforcement officials discovered the wreckage near Morton. They told us that three people were aboard the aircraft, all fatalities. You'll need to confirm that with either the county sheriff or DPS.

FAA investigators are en route to the site. The NTSB has been notified and will be in charge of the investigation and all updates.

The FAA does not identify crash victims. Those names will be released by the medical examiner or JP after relatives have been notified.

The tail number of the aircraft is N2428Q. You can look up the registered owner by plugging that number into the N-number search field on our home page at