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“Obviously, the high school season coincides with the college season, so if you want to go see players, you need to have the flexibility and ability to make quick trips,” Shutt said.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, an OSU alumna who attended Monday’s memorial, said she plans to encourage universities in Oklahoma to review their rules and restrictions for flights involving students and staff. Fallin said she plans to meet with university officials to see if additional flight regulations need to be put in place.

“As governor, we do want to make sure we protect our faculty, our students, our coaches, the team itself, when it comes to flying, make sure that we have appropriate airplanes, appropriate equipment, engines, pilots, and certainly that we have rules in place so that everybody knows this is the best way to do everything we can to avoid the unfortunate circumstance that we just had,” Fallin said.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the crash, already has ruled out weather as a factor. Investigators were still trying to determine whether the pilot radioed for help before the plane went down, NTSB spokesman Terry Williams said.

According to Federal Aviation Administration records, Branstetter passed a medical examination, was certified to be a commercial pilot and was flight-instrument rated.


Sean Murphy can be reached at