In-flight Breakup Suspected In Fatal Crash


image: WSAW-TV

Six people died when a Cessna 421 broke up in the air over northern Wisconsin about 3 a.m. on Saturday, the NTSB has said. The airplane had departed from Waukegan, Illinois, with six men on board who were headed to Manitoba, Canada, for a fishing trip. NTSB investigators told The Associated Press there was a discussion between the pilot of the plane and air traffic controllers about a “local weather phenomenon” in Catawba, Wisconsin, which is near the crash site just southwest of the city of Phillips. Soon after, the aircraft dropped off radar.

Debris was found in a heavily wooded area near Catawba and stretched about a quarter mile to the edge of a state highway. “The debris field suggested an in-flight break up,” NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss told the AP. Five of the six who died, ages 21 to 70, were from Illinois, and one was from California. Weiss said investigators are still trying to determine what type of weather the plane encountered and whether it caused the crash. Kevin King, 70, the pilot, had flown jets during the Vietnam war and was an active pilot who owned several airplanes, according to local news reports.