The plane had crashed forty-seven feet away from where Cooper had been standing. He was pretty sure it was a twin engine Cessna 340. Maybe the more powerful 340A. What the impact didn’t destroy, the explosion and fire finished off, reducing the house and aircraft to a smoldering mess that also consisted of the four bodies of those people who had been flying as well as the young couple, who’d just moved in last month.
He’d told the FCC investigator that he’d heard erratic low flying back and forth across the airspace over the neighborhood for about a minute before the crash and had come from the study to the east-facing window of the dining room to see what he could see, which wasn’t much. In fact the only thing he actually witnessed was the Cessna’s final two seconds when it came into view inverted and nose-first and very fast with only about a 100 feet or so before impact. If it hadn’t shown up just then Cooper would’ve stepped outside and pretty much would’ve been killed. Instead he had just enough time to hurl himself down to the hardwood floor and pull into a standard duck-and-cover a moment before his house shook as if in the midst of an earthquake or tornado and all the windows on that side blew inward in a ghastly invasion of heat and noise and pressure.
And now in the aftermath he stood again at what was left of the window and pondered why things happen the way they do and how easily it might’ve been him and his house smoldering instead.