Plane crash kills 3 in Southeast Missouri

Piper PA-28 Cherokee
Piper PA-28 Cherokee
Last recorded location by radar.
Last recorded location by radar.
Plane crash kills 3 in Southeast Missouri
By: Heartland News & Associated Press

VIBURNUM, Mo. -- An Iowa couple and their son are identified today as the victims of a small-plane crash yesterday in a remote part of Southeast Missouri outside of Viburnum.

Washington County Sheriff Kevin Schroeder says the pilot was Randy Wheeler of Charter Oak, Iowa. The other two victims were his wife, Amy, and their son Tyler. Their ages were not available.

The single-engine Piper Cherokee was en route from Jefferson City to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, when controllers lost contact around 8:45 am yesterday. Schroeder says Randy Wheeler told controllers he had zero visibility and a strong headwind shortly before the crash.

Schroeder said so far it appears the family had ultimately been heading to Florida, and planned to refuel in Alabama.

The sheriff says initial reports of four on board the plane were due to some miscommunication and are incorrect.

According to the FAA, the plane was registered to Ida County Flyers Inc. in Battle Creek, Iowa.  The plane was built in 1966.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)