Four People Killed in Kansas Plane Crash
Published April 22, 2011 | Associated Press
TOPEKA, Kan. –
small airplane filled with relatives on their way to visit friends for Easter crashed in a muddy Kansas corn field Friday, killing all four people aboard, officials said.
The six-seat Beechcraft plane registered to Precision Ag & Seed Services LLC went down about noon roughly 3 miles northeast of the capital city of Topeka. Federal Aviation Administration records show the craft took off from Scott City in western Kansas and was headed to Topeka’s Phillip Billard Airport.
Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Herrig said the people onboard were relatives headed to the Topeka area for Easter visits with friends. He did not release their names.
Based on a witness’ account, Herrig said he believed the plane’s motor sputtered and then cut off before the crash. The plane left a long trail of wreckage in conditions so sloppy emergency crews initially had trouble reaching the debris. The plane appeared to narrowly miss a large wooden high voltage transmission line. Crews were assessing the site to see if the line was hit.
The man who reported the crash experienced chest pains after rushing from his home to the scene, more than a half-mile away. An ambulance crew was sent to check him out, and he is OK, Herrig said.
Weather conditions around Topeka were cool and damp but there were no severe storms in the area when the crash happened.
Eric Johnson, president and director of airports for the Metropolitan Topeka Airport Authority, said conditions were “kind of gloomy but not in my opinion terrible weather.”
“I don’t believe we had high winds or anything too terribly unusual,” he said.
The plane circled the airport one time and missed the approach, Johnson said. It crashed before it could try again.
“There’s no indication there was a problem weather-wise or anything,” he said. “If there was a problem, we would have been notified and they weren’t notified.”
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