New information has been released on the plane crash that killed four people near Guthrie Center last month.
According to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board, at about 5:15 p.m. on November 9th a Piper aircraft collided with terrain about two miles south of the Guthrie County Regional Airport. All four passengers died in the crash, 49-year-old Edward Anderson, 36-year-old Patrick Kellen, and 15-year-old Samantha Clark of Le Mars and 28-year-old Tyler Douvia of Merrill. The plane had departed from the Le Mars Municipal Airport at 4:18 p.m. with a planned destination of the Osceola Municipal Airport. The pilot had planned to fly the airplane back to Le Mars on his own that night. The plane was co-owned by the student pilot and another person who was not piloting the plane, and it had been purchased in July of this year. According to the other co-owner the plane had accumulated about 150 hours of total flight time during the period of ownership, and the student pilot had flown the plane solo on multiple occasions.
Preliminary review of the plane’s flight track data shows at 5:01 p.m. the plane made a 90-degree left turn towards the general direction of the Guthrie County Airport, followed by a counterclockwise three mile orbit around the runway and then southwest towards Guthrie Center. The last recorded location by the GPS receiver was about 2.5 miles northeast of the accident site. Toxicology testing performed by the State Medical Examiner’s office revealed elevated levels of carbon monoxide in the blood of all occupants. The Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office and numerous other agencies assisted in a 13-hour search for the plane, which was found at about 6:31 a.m. November 10th in a cow pasture. To read the full accident report click here.