Buhlow Lake plane crash investigation

Published: May. 31, 2020 at 8:03 PM CDT
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Update (6-1-2020):

The Federal Aviation Administration along with the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office continued to work the site near Buhlow Lake where a plane crashed after taking off from the Pineville Municipal Airport.

Killed in the crash were twin brothers, Ben and Blake Cooper. Blake's son was also on board but was ejected upon impact and received some major injuries, but is expected to survive.

The FAA arrived at the scene of the crash shortly after 2 p.m. on Monday. We have yet to receive an official statement from them, but what we do know right now is the plane was flown by Ben, an accomplished pilot, and owner of Oceans Behavioral Hospital in Alexandria.

Also on board was Blake, who served as Executive Director of Central Louisiana Regional Port for five years, beginning in 2015.

The Central Louisiana Regional Port released a statement saying Blake's enthusiasm, leadership and commitment to the port, the board and commissioners and staff will forever be remembered.



Two prominent members of the Alexandria community have died following a plane crash near the Pineville Municipal Airport at Lake Buhlow.

According to Pineville officials, brothers Ben and Blake Cooper died after the small plane being flown by Ben, an accomplished pilot, crashed shortly after takeoff around 1:20 Sunday afternoon. Confirmation of the men’s identities was made Sunday evening.

Officials also said Blake Cooper’s son was thrown from the wreckage, underwent surgery and is expected to live.

Ben Cooper was the owner and administrator of Oceans Behavioral Hospital in Alexandria, while Blake Cooper was the Executive Director of the Central Louisiana Regional Port. Both men lived in Alexandria and were graduates of Tioga High School.

NTSB officials will release more information after their investigation.

Both Ben and Blake Cooper were members of Calvary Baptist Church.

Copyright 2020 KALB. All rights reserved.

Note: A former version of this article falsely identified the title of the CLRP. It has been adjusted.