Two people killed after a small plane crashed in Warren County on Sunday evening have been identified by name:
- The victims were from Punta Gorda, Fla., who were in Ohio to visit friends
- The plane crashed in a wooded area near Camp Kern in Turtlecreek Twp.
- NTSB investigation is continuing.
- The victims were identified through the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab.
UPDATE @ 1:44 p.m. (Dec. 2):
The preliminary crash report from the plane crash that killed two people in October has been released by the National Transportation Safety Board.
According to the report, the small amateur-built plane collided with an aerial cable and crashed into the ground.
The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and a post-impact fire.
Eric Hackney, 43, and Jesse Loy, 36, were killed in the crash.
The flight had originated from a private airstrip in Wilmington 32 minutes before the crash happened, the report said.
“Several witnesses reported seeing the airplane flying at low altitudes at different locations prior to the accident,” the report said. “One witness estimated the airplane was at an altitude of about 30 feet above the river and the other estimated about 50 feet above the tree tops”
Witnesses said the engine sounded “strong” and at “full power”.
UPDATE @ 3:25 p.m. (Oct. 18):
One of the two Punta Gorda, Fla. men who died in a small plane crash Sunday in Warren County was a Wilmington High School graduate who attended Wright State University in the early 1990s.
Eric Hackney, 43, attended WSU from fall 1991 to spring 1993, according to a university spokesman. Online profiles list Hackney as the owner and developer of the North Winds Estate in Wilmington and as managing member of Sweepstakes Cabinet Solutions LLC.
The other man, 36-year-old Jesse Loy, was a pilot and listed as the owner of the plane that crashed in a wooded area near Camp Kern in Turtlecreek Twp.
Online profiles list Loy as a project manager at H2O911 Restoration. A blog also shows a photo documentation indicating Loy restored the plane.
A spokesperson from the National Transportation Safety Board said that, unofficially, the crashed plane was suspected by the Federal Aviation Administration to be a Van’s RV-4 registered with the aircraft number N2626C. That number matches the flightaware.com website with Loy’s information.
UPDATE @ 7:50 p.m. (Oct. 17): The fatalities are Eric Hackney, 43, and Jesse Loy, 36, both of Punta Gorda, Fla.
Hackney and Loy were flying from Florida to visit friends in Warren County when their plane went down in woods along the Little Miami River.
“They both died from the impact, blunt force trauma,” Doyle Burke, chief investigator, Warren County Coroner’s Office said .
“What brought them down, that’ll be the NTSB,” he said.
UPDATE @ 4:10 p.m. (Oct. 17)
Alan Wolfson, manager of the Warren County Airport outside Lebanon, said the crash did not involve a plane based there. Likewise, staff at the Red Stewart Airfield outside Waynesville said the plane was not based there.
The Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport north of Springboro has been closed for construction since Friday.
UPDATE @ 10:42 a.m. (Oct. 17)
Investigators suspect the victims of yesterday’s fatal plane crash in Warren County have local ties to the area.
But results of autopsies under way at the Miami Valley Crime Lab will also be used in determining the identities of the victims of the third fatal plane crash in the area in less than three months.
“If it’s who we think it is, they have local ties,” Doyle Burke, chief investigator for the Warren County Coroner’s Office, said Monday morning.
However Burke said the apparent victims did not live in the area.
Burke declined to identify the apparent victims, pending confirmation through dental records and notification of next of kin.
Today investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) were expected to arrive at the crash site, on state land near Camp Kern and the Little Miami River.
Emergency crews were first dispatched around 5:45 p.m. Sunday after callers reported smoke and flames coming from a low-flying plane.
The crash scene is in a remote, wooded area, east of Lebanon in Turtlecreek Twp., on property near a Church of God camp between the YMCA camp and Moore-Saur Road.
ATVs and boats were used to get to the site and a fire was put out without it spreading beyond the crash area.
The two-seat prop plane was heavily damaged and authorities were still working on Monday to identify its tail number.
It was not known where the plane was headed, nor from where it came.
Dirk Morgan said he looked up to see the smoking plane fall out of the sky Sunday.
“It came right through the treetops and then crashed to the floor,” said Morgan, owner of Morgan Riverside Camps on the Little Miami River.
Morgan used his knowledge of the rough terrain to help firefighters and first responders reach the crash site – roughly at the bottom of a cliff near the river.
“It’s an extremely steep hill, probably 300 vertical feet just to get down to the river valley - no roads, no trails,” said Morgan, a member of the family also operating a canoe rental business on the river.
“I went up to Moore-Saur Road to my neighbors’ property — the Church of God camp. First responders were there, and I helped them go over the hill and carry equipment down the hill,” Morgan said.
“I had to make two trips down to try to help them bring fire extinguishers and pick axes. … It was so steep you had to hold onto small saplings to keep from sliding 50 feet down the hill. So coming back up it was almost all fours, and I felt bad for the firefighters because they were in full turnout gear.”
Morgan said firefighters had to stop three times before reaching the spot.
Other firefighters arriving later took boats on the river or ATVs guided by GPS to get there.
“It’s along the Little Miami River between Strout Road and Fort Ancient SR 350. Those are the two bridges that it’s between,” Morgan said.
Morgan, one of the first at the scene, said he cringed at what he saw. The plane had sawed off trees as it fell.
“There were pieces of trees and then I kind of looked up. There was an opening in the big Sycamore trees that were down there and there were parts of the plane hanging from the tree limbs,” Morgan said.
“I just know I saw the smoking remains of what appeared to be a plane and parts, and I prayed for the families who lost their loved ones.
“I don’t think anyone survived,” he said before officials confirmed the worst. “I don’t know how they could.”
Burke and Sgt. Robert Burd of the Ohio State Highway Patrol briefed reporters at the staging area near Camp Kern.
“The plane’s burnt. It is a complete loss,” said Burd, assistant commander of the Lebanon Post.
Burke said it was impossible to tell even the sex or ages of the victims at the crash site.
He said the victims can be identified through missing persons reports, dental records or DNA.
At the time of the crash, winds of 8 mph were reported at the nearest reporting station, the Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport north of Springboro. There was possibly some light rain, but no reports of severe weather, according to WHIO TV Meteorologist Brett Collar.
Rain and thunderstorms are believed to have contributed to the crash that killed a Michigan man and his wife in Clark County on July 22, according to the NTSB.
Levon King, 81, and his wife, Gloria King, 85, died when their experimental aircraft crashed in a cornfield in Harmony Twp. The plane crashed seven miles east of Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.
The couple were flying home to Michigan from Georgia, relatives said, when the RV-9A plane that Levon King built himself went down.
The NTSB continues to investigate the fatal crash involving Clayton Heins, 20, a student pilot from Arcanum, and his friend, Jacob Turner, 19, of Greenville, on Sept. 14, in Darke County. The plane was reportedly headed for the Moraine Air Park when it crashed in a cornfield.
Heins was flying a single-engine Piper PA-11 aircraft, owned by his father, when it crashed off Dull Road near Arcanum, according to reports.
On Sunday, investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the fatal crash scene in Warren County. The NTSB joined the investigation Monday.
INITIAL REPORT (Oct. 16)
Emergency crews were first dispatched around 5:45 p.m. Sunday after callers reported smoke and flames coming from a low-flying plane. The crash scene was located in a remote, wooded area near the Little Miami River, on property between Camp Kern and Moore-Saur Road, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office said.
Investigators said they had to use ATVs and boats to access the wreck. The plane was heavily burned and authorities were still working to identify its tail number.
It was not known where the plane was headed, nor from where it came.
Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the scene Sunday night, and members from the National Transportation Safety Board are expected to arrive Monday.
Doyle Burke, chief investigator with the Warren County Coroner’s Office, said they took two unidentified bodies to the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab. The victims are expected to be identified through missing persons reports, dental records or DNA.
Additional details were not available.