Two Killed In P-51 Crash



Pilot Vlado Lenoch, 64, of Illinois, and his passenger, Bethany Root, 34, of Kansas, died about 10:30 Sunday morning when the P-51 Mustang “Baby Duck” they were flying crashed in Kansas, news outlets have reported. Lenoch had flown the classic airplane on Saturday night at the Atchison airport, in an airshow that was held as part of the Amelia Earhart Festival. The airplane was owned by the Warbird Heritage Foundation. It was a P-51D-25-NA, the foundation said, built in 1944. Lenoch, who worked at Boeing for many years, had been flying since age 17. He had an ATP certificate, more than 17,000 hours of flight time and a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering.

The airplane had reportedly been flying for only 10 or 15 minutes before the crash. Root was the general manager at the airport, and had a passion for aviation, according to the local fox4 website. “Very enthusiastic, very energetic. She loved to fly; she loved aviation; she wanted everybody else to love aviation,” said co-worker Jacque Pregont. “Find something that you’re really passionate about and do it, and that’s what she was doing. It’s a horrible, horrible loss.” Investigators are en route to the scene, local officials said.

image: Warbird Heritage Foundation