Pilot killed moment after skydivers jump from plane crashed in central Illinois
Monday, 13 August 2012 10:00
A small plane crashed in central Illinois on Saturday just moments after a group of skydivers jumped from the aircraft, authorities said. The pilot was killed.
Federal investigators and a witness say a small plane crashed in central Illinois
moments after a group of skydivers jumped from the aircraft.(Press TV)
The twin-engine Beechcraft 18 was destroyed in the crash, which happened around noon near homes in Taylorville, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro.
Taylorville resident Gloria Johnson was unloading groceries from her car in her driveway when the aircraft came down in her neighbor's back yard, slamming into a tree and showering the area with debris.
"(I) just heard this great big sound, you know, like an airplane backfiring," Johnson, 61, said. "It went boom and it just went down over there next door. ... There were plane parts everywhere, pieces all up and down Rich Street." said of the man witnesses the accident.
One of the skydivers raced to the scene after landing and told police that eight people had parachuted safely from the aircraft, which had taken off from the local airport, Johnson said.
She said she didn't see an explosion or fire upon impact.
A police spokesman in Taylorville could not be reached for comment. Tom Campbell of the Taylorville Fire Department confirmed one person was killed. The pilot's identity has not been released.
Federal Aviation Administration investigators were on the scene gathering information before turning over the accident investigation to the National Transportation Safety Board, Molinaro said.(AP/The Republic/AC)