Federal and local authorities provide update on fatal plane crash

Johnson County Executive Airport and 151st are back open, following on-site investigation

During a news conference held this afternoon, Feb. 14, at Johnson County Executive Airport, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator and Johnson County Executive Airport official provided an update on the fatal plane crash that happened on the airport grounds at 10:20 a.m., yesterday, Feb. 13.

The NTSB, along with the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash that claimed the life of one individual, a pilot who was headed from the airport to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“The information we have right now is that the airplane was on take-off, said John Brannen, NTSB senior air safety investigator. “It had been cleared for take-off to the north, and shortly after take-off, the pilot transmitted that he needed to return. There was no indication from the pilot the reason he needed to return. The airplane subsequently crashed off the north end of the runway.”

The crash happened south of 151st Street, in Olathe, on airport grounds. The Johnson County Airport Commission, Kansas Highway Patrol, Overland Park Fire Department, Johnson County MED-ACT, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Olathe Fire Department and Olathe Police Department responded to the scene.

The Johnson County Airport Commission shut down the airport immediately following the crash. Also closed to traffic was 151st Street, from Pflumm Road to Quivira Road. The airport and road reopened before 2 p.m., today, following the removal of the aircraft.

“The closures were needed due to the proximity of the wreckage to 151st Street, and we needed to stop traffic at the airport for the investigation,” said Larry Peet, Johnson County Airport Commission deputy director.

The wreckage was contained to the area directly surrounding the aircraft.

Brannen noted during the briefing that it may take approximately one year to fully investigate this tragic accident. The aircraft will be analyzed, along with other data, including autopsy and toxicology reports. Some evidence was severely damaged due to the fire upon impact.

“One of the things we’ll be doing is examining the engine and internal components to determine if there was power on the airplane,” said Brannen.

Both officials expressed sympathy for the family and loved ones of the victim in this incident. Identification of the victim is provided by local authorities.

This is the second plane crash this month from Johnson County Executive Airport. The initial incident happened Feb. 4. No injuries were suffered in that crash. The last time a fatal accident occurred at Johnson County Executive Airport was Dec. 31, 2019.

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