Illinois pilot, Kansas airport manager die in plane crash

Posted: Updated:
Photo: KCTV Photo: KCTV
CUMMINGS, Kan. (AP) -

Authorities say an Illinois pilot and his passenger have died after a World War II-era P-51 Mustang fighter crashed one day after it flew in a festival that celebrates famed aviator Amelia Earhart in her Kansas hometown.

The Kansas City Star reports that the crash happened Sunday in a field less than ten miles from the airport in Atchison. The crash killed the pilot, 64-year-old Vlado Lenoch, of Burr Ridge, Illinois, and his passenger, 34-year-old Bethany Root. Root was the manager of the Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport in Atchison, which is about 45 miles northwest of Kansas City.

Kansas Highway Patrol Lt. Bryce Whelpley says the cause is unknown. He says federal officials will investigate.

Festival coordinator Jacque Pregont described the deaths as "a horrible, horrible loss."
 

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have a photo to share with us? Email it to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE

  • Most Popular Stories

    • Thief targets an already grieving Wichita mother

      An already grieving Wichita mother was dealt another blow thanks to a thief.

    • El Dorado teen killed in crash in rural Butler County

      A vehicle filled with young adults was heading north when it went off Hopkins Switch Road.

    • Paul McCartney's take on Westboro protesters at Wichita concert

      Paul McCartney has his own take on Westboro Baptist Church protesters who gathered outside of Wichita's INTRUST Bank Arena ahead of the former Beatle's concert Wednesday night. 

    • Emails request changes inside prison

      Emails from prison workers obtained by KAKE News reveal specific concerns about conditions inside the El Dorado Correctional Facility. Specifically, the emails list security and protection concerns among guards. 

    • 'Speed enforcement blitz' in Kansas this weekend

      Drivers in Kansas may notice more traffic enforcement this weekend. That's because authorities are taking part in a "speed enforcement blitz" statewide. 

    • Hackers of Kansas data system got Social Security numbers of millions in 10 states

      Hackers who breached a Kansas Department of Commerce data system used by multiple states gained access to more than 5.5 million Social Security Numbers and put the agency on the hook to pay for credit monitoring services for all victims.

    • Bethel College hires husband-wife coaching duo to lead women's basketball program

      Bethel College will welcome its second husband-wife coaching team with the appointment of Drew Johnson, head women’s basketball coach, and Nicole (Ohlde) Johnson, assistant coach. Athletic Director Tony Hoops announced the hires July 20, following the resignation earlier this month of Adam Esses, who took a position at the University of Texas-San Antonio, an NCAA Division I school. “I could not be more pleased to have Drew and Nicole join our Bethel College athletic staf...
    • Conviction upheld in murder of Wichita radio station employee

      The Kansas Supreme Court today affirmed convictions in the beating death of a Wichita radio station employee.   

    • Teens may face charge after watching man drown

      Authorities in Florida say a group of teens who watched, laughed and made a video as a man drowned in a retention pond can be charged with failure to report a death.

    • Union: El Dorado prison forcing officers to work 16-hour shifts

      A union representing Kansas state employees says some officers at the state's maximum-security prison outside El Dorado are being required to work 16-hour shifts.