Cessna Citation Crash Kills Two

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Photo Credit: Mulvane Emergency Services

Photo Credit: Mulvane Emergency Services

Less than 20 minutes after departing Mid-Continent Airport, Kan., Friday, a 1975 Cessna 500 Citation I carrying California faith healing pastor Ed Dufresne, 72, and his pilot Mitchell Morgan, 49, crashed in a field, killing both men. The aircraft reached an altitude of 16,500 feet before it was lost from radar shortly after 10:15 a.m. a local sheriff told Kansas.com. Witnesses reported hearing an explosion while the jet was still in the air, and seeing the aircraft impact at approximately 10:18 a.m. Some said they saw pieces coming off of the plane as it came down. According to The Associated Press, "a wing" was found one mile from the crash site. 

The NTSB and FAA are now engaged in investigating the crash. So far, few details have been reported. There were no reports of radio communications from the aircraft indicating a problem. A flight plan was filed for the flight and indicated that the jet was scheduled to arrive at its destination near San Antonio before noon. The sheriff estimated that investigators would be searching a 1.5 mile radius for parts from the aircraft. The pastor operated a website that stated he had been called as a traveling minister and spent most of his time away from home. According to the site, "In 1999, Dr. Ed Dufresne had a vision of heaven, and at that time God gave him an endowment to kill cancer.  Since then, there have been an increased number of dramatic healings from cancer recorded." It goes on to say "Dr. Dufresne's heavenly assignment has been enlarged in this decade to go to the nations."