Tragic Plane Crash Kills Two Heartland Men

Tragic Plane Crash Kills Two Heartland Men
By: Arnold Wyrick

(Sparta, IL)--Two Heartland families are mourning the loss of their loved ones who were killed in a plane crash Wednesday night in Randolph County. The single engine Beechcraft Bonanza A-36 was carrying 60 year old Jerry Davis of Cape Girardeau, and 58 year old Kenneth Krongos of Buncombe, Il.

They were flying back to Cape Girardeau, from Minnesota, when they ran into rough weather. "I live about a half mile away from here. I heard the plane circle several times, and I knew it was in trouble due to the weather," says Tim Price Deputy in Randolph County. "Myself and another neighbor were the first to find the horrific crash here on the hill," Price said.

The plane slammed into the ground five miles south of Sparta. According to the Sparta weather station visibility was poor and there was freezing rain in the area, at the time of the crash. "So anything falling would've frozen and covered the plane," says Chris Betian of Sparta Aero Services. "And with ice it disrupts the airflow over the wings of the airplane, and takes away the lift. But it also adds a tremendous amount of weight to the aircraft," Betian said.

Betian says no one was working at the airport when the plane would've been coming over, but it is equipped with a special lighting system on it's runways. "The airport has a Pilot Controlled Lighting. The lights come on when the sun goes down, and the lights are on low intensity. A pilot can set it's radio to the airport's frequency and by clicking their microphone of their radio they can turn the lights up, which makes the airport more visible especially in the condition he was in," Betian says. The exact cause of the crash is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, and the FAA.