UPDATE: Sunday, January 13, 2013
The Nebraska State Patrol has identified the four people killed aboard a small plane that crashed in a remote area of Lincoln County in central Nebraska.
The patrol confirmed that 54-year-old Mark Bottorff, of Lancaster, Kan., was piloting the plane when it crashed Friday afternoon about 13 miles northeast of Maxwell. The patrol says the others killed in the crash were 71-year-old Ken Babcock, of Hiawatha, Kan.; 39-year-old Jason Drane, of St. Joseph, Mo., and 53-year-old Chris Nelsen, of York, Neb.
The twin-engine was reported missing shortly after taking off from the North Platte airport around 3:46 p.m. Friday. The plane was located in a field approximately 13 miles Northeast of Maxwell.
Jerry Ernzen, who worked with Bottorff, says Bottorff and the other men did business together.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
An official with a Kansas concrete contractor has confirmed that the pilot killed in a central Nebraska plane crash was the owner of the company.
Jerry Ernzen, vice president of operations at Bottorff Construction of Atchison, Kan., says 54-year-old Mark Bottorff, of Lancaster, Kan., died in the Friday crash that also killed three others.
Ernzen, speaking Saturday for Bottorff's family, said the three others on board were with agriculture equipment companies in Kansas and Nebraska who were doing business with Bottorff, which owned the plane.
Authorities lost contact with the plane about 10 minutes after it took off from North Platte on Friday afternoon.
Federal aviation investigators are heading to the crash site. Neither they nor local officials would confirm Bottorff's identity. Officials also are not yet releasing the names of the others killed.