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Texas man dies in crash of plane with Lexington tie

OKLAHOMA CITY — The pilot of the small plane that crashed near a northwest Oklahoma City airpark has been identified as Ronald Arthur Merks, 57, of San Antonio.

Cherokee Ballard, public information officer for the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's office, said the cause of death had not been determined as of Friday morning.

Merk was the only occupant of the plane that crashed about 2 p.m. Thursday.

Federal Aviation Administration records show that the aircraft is registered to a Robert J. Walty in Lexington.

Oklahoma City police Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow said officers received an emergency call from Sundance Airpark about 1:47 p.m. Thursday. Wardlow said the caller told officers that the aircraft came down hard.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Roland Herwig said it was initially thought that two people were on board, but officials later learned that the only occupant was the pilot. Herwig said the plane is a 1991 single-engine, fixed-wing Lancair.

Herwig said the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

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