Airshow pilot, airport manager die in Atchison County plane crash

17 Juillet, 2017, 16:03 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • Illinois pilot killed in Kansas plane crash

Bethany Root, a 2001 Maplewood High School graduate who was an aerial application pilot, was killed Sunday morning in a plane crash about 60 miles northwest of Kansas City in Atchison County, Kansas.

The fatal accident came just a day after a fly-in at Amelia Earhart Airport in Atchison.

Atchison County Sheriff Jack Laurie said witnesses described seeing the plane doing stunt-like maneuvers before the crash.

Longtime pilot Vlado Lenoch, 64, of Burr Ridge, Ill., and his passenger, Bethany Root, 34, manager of the Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport in Atchison, died at the scene, officials said.

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The annual festival, held in Atchison, celebrates the famed pilot Earhart, who was born in Atchison, and is the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Lenoch and Root left the Amelia Earhart Airport in Atchison in a World War II-era plane at around 10 a.m. Sunday. The plane that crashed was believed to be a P-51 Mustang - named the "Baby-Duck" - that flew along the Missouri River in the air show at the Amelia Earhart Festival Saturday evening, authorities said. In several Facebook posts over the years, Lenoch said that he had flown in the Chicago Air & Water Show.

The Federal Aviation Administration is heading to the crash site to conduct an investigation.

Festival coordinator Jacque Pregont described the deaths as "a frightful, terrible loss". Tonight, the victims are being remembered for their passion and love of flying. She moved to the area and did work crop dusting for area farmers. No residents were injured.

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