Investigators arrive at scene of Greensburg plane crash
Four people died when their small plane crashed in Decatur County Sunday evening, less than two miles from the Greensburg Airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration has confirmed to Eyewitness News that all four people on board died in the crash. The plane was registered to Donald Horan of Greensburg. He has owned the plane only since October, according to aviation registration records.
Flight records show the plane left Destin, Florida at 3:00 pm for Greensburg, and was last tracked at 6:18 pm southeast of the Greensburg Airport, in the same area where the wreckage was found.
According to Capt. Bill Meyerrose of the Greensburg Police Department, the families of the victims have been notified, and they names are well-known in the community. However, official identification may not be made until National Transportation and Safety Board inspectors arrive to survey the crash scene some time Monday afternoon.
The Decatur County Coroner is expected to release the names of the four victims once proper identification has been made. Police say that will begin once the bodies of the victims are recovered from the crash site.
"Approximately about 11:20 today, we started to begin recovery operations to stabilize the vehicle, the airplane that's involved, so that way we can begin to make recovery of the victims involved," said Decatur County Sheriff's Lt. Robert Duckworth.
FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro told Eyewitness News that the Piper PA-46 was cleared by air traffic control to make an approach at the Greensburg airport, but there was no report of the plane landing. Communication was lost around 6:20 pm between the aircraft and control.
Meyerrose also told Eyewitness News that Greensburg emergency dispatchers received a 911 call shortly after 6:15 pm to report what the caller thought was a plane crash.
"The neighbors here, one saw it go down, the other heard the big thud," said neighbor Mel Fox.
Though she lives close to the crash site, Fox heard nothing.
"I did not hear anything. Not at all. Why did we not see fire?" she asked.
The FAA requested help from local law enforcement to search for the plane. Crews from Greensburg, Decatur County and Rush County joined in the search, using all-terrain vehicles to access the rural countryside.
"It was foggy, it was misting, and again, the mud hampered our search last night more than anything else," said Meyerrose.
They found the plane in a farm field. It had crashed through a tree line and landed there.
Skytrak 13 Meteorologist Sean Ash says there were low hanging clouds at the time the plane disappeared. The clouds were an estimated 300-600 feet above the ground.
Flight records show the plane left Greensburg on Friday afternoon for Florida.
The crash investigation has caused some road closures in the area around the crash, including Park Road and CR 200W, the Kohler Park entrance, all entrances to the Decatur County Fairgrounds and the back nine holes of the Greensburg Country Club.