Pilot killed in plane crash in north central Nebraska

A man from Kansas was killed in a small plane crash near Chambers in Holt County.
Published: May. 17, 2023 at 3:45 PM CDT|Updated: May. 17, 2023 at 6:44 PM CDT
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CHAMBERS, Neb. (KOLN) - The pilot of a small plane was killed when it crashed in north central Nebraska Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Holt County Sheriff’s Office, the 1963 Cessna 172 went down in a pasture just northeast of Chambers, Neb. just after 1 p.m. The pilot, identified as 69-year-old Mark Gietzen of Wichita, Kan., was pronounced dead at the scene.

The aircraft had flown from Newton, Kan. and was on its way to North Dakota when it crashed for unknown reasons.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board arrived at the scene Wednesday morning to investigate.

Abortion opponent, Mark Gietzen, has filed a lawsuit in Sedgwick County demanding a statewide...
Abortion opponent, Mark Gietzen, has filed a lawsuit in Sedgwick County demanding a statewide hand recount on the constitutional amendment that was voted down in the Aug. 2 primary.(KWCH)

Gietzen’s Life

Gietzen is most well known for his decades of activism against abortion, particularly during what came to be known as the “Summer of Mercy” in 1991.

Identified as a staunch conservative, and a former leader of the Sedgwick County Republican Party, Gietzen helped drive a shift in local politics, converting once long-time Democratic seats into GOP strongholds.

Gietzen served as the chairman of the Kansas Coalition for Life, a group opposing abortion in Kansas.

Just last year, Gietzen led an effort to force a recount of the August vote on what was called the “Value them Both” amendment. Voters rejected that amendment which sought to clarify that the state constitution did not protect the right to an abortion.

In a post on Facebook, the Kansas Republican Party asked for prayers for Gietzen’s family.

“Prayers for Mark, his family, and his friends are encouraged at this challenging time,” reads the post. “Mark was known, loved and respected by many across Kansas for his endless efforts to save babies from abortion. His presence, determination and hard work will be greatly missed.”

KWCH contributed to this report.