2 dead after plane crashes near house

January 24, 2010 9:02:08 AM PST
Two people have died after a small aircraft crashed near a house in west suburban Sugar Grove.Kane County authorities say both victims were on the plane.

The home is located near Route 47 and Old Oaks Road, in the vicinity of Aurora Municipal Airport.

An FAA prerecorded message confirmed the crash Saturday night.

Neighbors said they heard the planes engine first, then the sound of an impact. They say they came outside and saw a fireball on their front lawn.

Authorities say the plane was a twin-engine Piper Aerostar. ABC7 is told it first hit the ground, then broke into pieces, and it was that debris that scattered and pelted a nearby house with two adults and two children inside.

They were not injured.

According to the FAA, the aircraft was leaving the Aurora municipal airport-- which is only a mile or two from the crash scene-- just after 7 p.m. Saturday. The plane was headed for an airport near Denver, Colo.

Kane County sheriff's investigators say the plane broke into a lot of small pieces, an indication that the plane was not, in any way, in control as it made its deadly descent to the ground.

They say the impact was sudden and severe.

"It is a very large debris field, and there is not much left of the plane. There are quite a few parts out there. So, hitting the ground first, and then the debris hitting the house, it's a pretty big debris field up there," said Lt. Pat Gengler of the Kane County Sheriff's Department.

"The aircraft was departing Aurora airport. They were en route to the Denver, Colo. area. We have no indications of any reported aircraft problems, as far as them in communication with the tower. As far as we know right now, everything was routine," said Pam Sullivan of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Authorities continued their investigation at the scene late Saturday night. NTSB officials were set to return to the scene Sunday.

There was considerable fog in the area Saturday night. However, air traffic controllers at the Aurora airport talked with the plane's pilot and cleared the aircraft for take-off and reported no problems once the plane was in the air.

Weather is just one factor that will be investigated, in addition to the plane's mechanical condition.

Investigations of this nature can take a long time before an official cause is determined.

(The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report - Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2010.)