Four Killed in Plane Crash after Leaving From Destin - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Four Killed in Plane Crash after Leaving From Destin

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Four people were killed in a small plane crash in Greensburg, IN, Sunday night, after leaving from the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport.

According to RTV6-TV in Indianapolis, IN, a family spokesperson identified the victims of the crash.

Killed in the accident were Donald P. Horan, 46; Barbara L. Horan, 44; Stephen A. Butz, 45; and Denise L. Butz, 42.

The plane that had been cleared to approach the Greensburg Airport, but crashed about 10:45 p.m. a mile and a half from the Decatur County Fairgrounds.

According to RTV6, shortly after daybreak Monday, heavy equipment rolled in to assist in the recovery of the plane, and its passengers.  All terrain vehicles, and boots were necessities to deal with the conditions.  Ginger Smith was on the scene last night, when she heard about the crash, and wanted to help.

"It was tearful for me know that I couldn't do anything.  I couldn't stand here and not do anything.  Because there were so many people involved they didn't want to jeopardize anyone else's safety, " Smith said.

Dispatchers got a 911 call at 6:15 yesterday evening about a possible plane crash. The plane was registered to Donald Horan of Greensburg.  He has only owned the plane, since October. Flight records show the plane left Greensburg on Friday headed to Florida. The investigation is in full swing.

At approximately 10:45 am representatives from the FAA arrived on the scene accompanying the Deactur County coroner as well as the pathologist to examine the wreckage that is the way we can start recovery operations.

But Greensburg Mayor Gary Herbert is very familiar, with two of the victims and he lamented the loss.

"They were good Christians," Hebert said. "They attend the same church I do. One of the gentlemen was a businessman in Greensburg. Very active in the community. It sad and tragic that this accident would take their lives so early."

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Below is a press release issued by the Decatur County (IN) Emergence Management Department:

Yesterday evening on December 2, 2012 at approximately 6:19 p.m. the Decatur County Sheriff's Department received a phone call from a civilian that was reporting what he believed was a plane crash. At approximately 6:30 the Greensburg Police Department received a phone call from the FAA asking if the police were looking for a down plane. The FAA advises that they have been tracking the plane on radar and lost signal of the radar approximately 2 miles south of the Greensburg airport. At that time EMA was notified.

The Operations Center was activated. A grid search was started to try and locate the plane. The plane was located at 10:45 pm. The plane was located just off of County Road 200 West approximately a mile east of the Greensburg airport.

Assisting in the search was Decatur Co Sheriff Dept., Greensburg Fire Dept., Greensburg Police Dept., all county volunteer fire departments, Bartholomew County Sheriff, Rush County Sheriff, Ripley County Sheriff, Jennings County Sheriff, Hope Police Department, Shelby County EMA, Rush County EMA, Rush County CERT Team, Hamilton County EMA, DNR, Civil Air Patrol, Decatur Co Fair Board, Greensburg Schools and Decatur County Coroner's Office.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) representatives arrived and recovery efforts began around 10:45 am today. Recovery efforts were complete near 1:30 pm, with four victims recovered. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) representatives are expected to arrive this afternoon to provide further direction in the investigation. The aircraft involved was a PA-46 Piper Malibu, capacity six persons.

Weather at the time of the crash on 12/2/2012 was fog with misting rain. The Greensburg Municipal Airport is equipped rotating beacon light. Runway light is pilot controlled through radio activation. At the time of the crash the beacon light was active and the runway lights were not activated.

Deceased in the crash, all residents of Decatur County:

  • Donald P Horan, age 46
  • Barbara L Horan, age 44
  • Stephen A Butz, age 45
  • Denise L Butz, age 42