Witnesses describe seeing ball of flames behind homes as plane crashes in Overland Park killing two

Regional News
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OVERLAND PARK, Kan.(WDAF)– Two people died in a plane crash Tuesday afternoon in Johnson County.

The incident was reported just after 4 p.m. near 156th and Parkhill Street, just east of the Johnson County Executive Airport.

“I came out and I saw just fire and I was like oh my goodness there was a plane crash,” Jacob Hoskins said.

Morse Village Estates neighbors were shocked first by the sound, then the sight of the single engine plane, most likely a four-seater, that crashed on the other side of a tree line and into a field separating their neighborhood from the airport.

“My first thought was just to pray for those families,” Claire Hoskins said.

The crash happened on the Overland Park side of the airport, though Olathe Firefighters were first on the scene.

“The closest appropriate units anywhere in Johnson County are automatically dispatched. We work as a team all the time,” Olathe Fire Captain Mike Hall.

As fuel leaked from the wing firefighters used chemicals to put out the fire about 20 minutes later. But there was nothing they could do for the two people inside.

The Kansas Highway Patrol arrived to take over the investigation.

“At this point in time we have no information as to what caused the crash, no information as to what happened prior to the crash,” Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Gustavo Ramirez said.

Crews worked into the night trying to uncover any clues from the wreckage.

“Right now it’s a scene investigation, taking pictures, taking measurements,” Ramirez explained.

But the Johnson County Executive Airport Director Larry Peet said the crash location on the other side of the tree line is making things difficult in the dark. FAA and NTSB investigators will likely have to be out in the daylight on New Year’s Day to find out more.

It doesn’t appear the pilot filed a flight plan, something Peet said wouldn’t have been needed on a clear day like today. In a review of air traffic control logs around the time of the crash a pilot could be heard requesting clearance to fly south to Arkansas.

Authorities haven’t released any information about the people on board or where they were going.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro said a single-engine Mooney M20S crashed “under unknown circumstances” shortly after leaving the airport. The aircraft was destroyed. Further information was not immediately available.

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