UPDATE: NTSB says it could be months before plane crash cause is released
Two people were killed when this Piper Cherokee crashed south of Norfolk, NE
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were in Norfolk, Nebraska Sunday to begin their investigation into a small plane crash south of Norfolk Saturday night that killed two people.
Some preliminary details have been released, but many won't be known for weeks or months.
The victims in the crash have been identified as 26-year-old Dale Butler of Omaha, Nebraska, who was piloting the plane and his passenger, 24-year old Amy Brobst of Fort Collins Colorado.
NTSB officials say the crash occurred after the two flew to Norfolk for dinner and were returning back home.
It was just before 8pm, and Dale Butler's four-seat Piper Cherokee was taking off from the Norfolk Regional Airport, bound for the Millard North Airport near Omaha, the plane‘s home base.
Authorities say minutes after takeoff, the plane struck a power line, crashed into a soybean field and came to rest in a grove of trees.
The location of the crash was just over two miles directly east of the airport, near the intersection of Sherwood road and 557th Avenue. Neighbors in the area reported power outages around 8:30pm.
The NTSB, along with the FAA, the plane's manufacturer and the maker of the plane's 180 horse power engine will be conducting the investigation. They will be at the crash scene over the next couple of days to review all of the factors that are relevant to the crash.
"We'll be looking at the pilots certification, his currency, anything that might affect the pilot's ability to fly the aircraft including his medical history. For the aircraft, we'll be looking at the certification of the aircraft along with any recent maintenance," explained NTSB Investigator Mike Folkerts.
Fokerts says they will also take Saturday night's weather conditions into account. Following the on-scene investigation, the agencies will conduct further reviews, which may take some time.
"Within one week, we'll release a preliminary report which is available at NTSB.gov. At about the 6 to 12 month time frame, the factual report will be released. And following the factual report, the probable cause and the brief report will be released by headquarters NTSB," Folkerts added.
We've also learned some details of who owned the plane. On-line documents say it is owned by Pro-Flite Incorporated, which is a flight school based out of the Millard North Airport in Omaha.
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