Family on way to graduation celebration when plane crashed - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Family flying to graduation celebration in Monroe prior to crash

Posted: Updated:

UPDATE (WKOW) -- The four people who died when the small plane they were in crashed Sunday on its approach to the Monroe Municipal Airport were on their way to a graduation celebration, according to a news release form the Green County Sheriff.

The pilot was identified Monday by the Green County Coroner as Colleen S. Deininger, 81, of Kenosha. Her passengers included a daughter, Melissa R. Deininger-Dickman, 53, and two grandchildren, Emmarose M. Dickman, 17, and Alex M. Dickman,13, also residents of Kenosha.

The flight originated at the Kenosha Airport with a destination of Monroe. Family members told investigators that it was their intention to celebrate a graduation that afternoon, according to the news release.

Sheriff Mark Rohloff says witnesses reported the Cessna 182T losing power and descending.  Rohloff says the plane clipped a line of trees and crashed in a meadow near the airport, with the aircraft breaking up after hitting the ground.

Airport manager Robert Driver says there was fog and a low ceiling at the time of the crash.  Driver says on a busy day, more than two dozen flights come in and out of the airport, but the flight from the Kenosha was the only aircraft expected at the airport Sunday.


Driver says Deininger had flown in and out the Monroe airport for approximately thirty years.  He says she had an instrument-rating as a pilot - a higher pilot classification.


Rohloff says four staff members Monday from the National Safety Transportation Board and Federal Aviation Administration combed the crash debris field for evidence.
 

***************

UPDATE (WKOW) -- An update from Sheriff Mark Rohloff says the two young people who died in the crash were a boy, 13, and a girl,17. The pilot was the teens' grandmother and the other woman was their mom. No names have been released.

Green County Sheriff Mark Rohloff said the pilot was familiar with the airport and had flown there before.

"We're very sorry for the loss. We understand there's some attachment to family here in Monroe. Will do our utmost to assist in the investigation. Will be having people staged at the scene throughout the night," he said.

********

UPDATE (WKOW) -- At a news conference Sunday afternoon, Green County Wisconsin Sheriff Mark Rohloff said the four people who died in the crash were all family members who were flying in from Kenosha to Monroe.  

He believes they were all adults: the pilot was a grandmother and it was her daughter and two granddaughters who were on board. One of the granddaughters may have been close to 18-years-old.  Other relatives reportedly also live in the Monroe area. 

Rohloff says the sheriff's department will act as a liaison to the family members, seeing what services they can offer.

The sheriff said a call to 9-1-1 came in a little after 12 noon that the plane was losing power.  It landed in an open field north of the airport a short time later. The sheriff say the plane "landed hard," and was completely engulfed in flames when it hit the ground.

He added that the crash site is hilly, "It's an area of grassy meadows and rather rolling hills. The site was right against the tree line."

The airport manager was involved right away to make sure certain protocols were in place to preserve the scene. 

Sheriff Rohloff wouldn't speculate about what happened to cause the crash. He said his department, along with the Federal Aviation Authority and the National Transportation Safety Board will be continuing the investigation. 

The sheriff added that, "At this time the area is secured with no traffic allowed and the roadway is closed." 

********

UPDATE: (WKOW) -- Green County officials confirm four people have died in a small plane crash at the Monroe Municipal Airport.  Witnesses say the plane was on fire as in tried to land, a little after noon Sunday. 

News conference and more information to be forthcoming. 

*********

MONROE (WKOW) --  Officials confirm they're responding to reports of a fully engulfed plane on fire landing at Monroe airport. 

Many area firefighting companies and first responders are either at or going to the scene. No further details are known at this time. 

Green County Sheriff's Office is asking people to avoid the Monroe-Sylvester Road area between Highway 59 and Burkhalter Road. The road is closed and it could be for several hours.

Powered by Frankly