FAA: 3 dead in Missouri plane crash

Friday, June 29, 2007
A section of a small plane found one mile from the crash is seen north of Wellsville, Mo. on Thursday, June 28, 2007. Three people died after the single-engine plane crashed in Montgomery County northwest of St. Louis, authorities said. (AP Photo/Dan Gill)

ST. LOUIS -- Three people were killed Thursday when a single-engine plane crashed in a Montgomery County farm field northwest of St. Louis, authorities said.

All three had attended this week's Fuel Ethanol Workshop and Expo in St. Louis, according to a roster on the conference Web site, and authorities said the three were on their way home.

Sgt. Al Nothum of the Missouri State Highway Patrol confirmed the victims' names as David McCormick, Michael D. Kammerer and Waylon Karsten, and said they were on their way home to Minnesota when the crash occurred around 8 a.m.

A fourth member of their party, Dan Shefland, stayed behind, Nothum said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the aircraft took off from Spirit of St. Louis Airport in suburban St. Louis and went down near the northwestern corner of Montgomery County in eastern Missouri. A flight plan filed with the FAA said the Piper 46 was headed for Buffalo, Minn.

The agency said three people died and no one survived the crash.

Elizabeth Isham Cory, spokeswoman for the FAA's office in Chicago, said the plane's tail number is N477MD, registered to an aviation-services company, McC Aviation Services of Rockford, Minn.

David McCormick was president of McC Inc., also doing business as McCormick Construction Co. Inc., in Greenfield, Minn., where Kammerer also worked.

Karsten listed his business affiliation as ECSI.

At company headquarters, McC Inc.'s Chief Financial Officer Mark Schmid declined to discuss the crash, saying "We're still trying to get official word."

He confirmed the party had attended the ethanol conference.

The company's Web site describes McC Inc. as an agricultural-industrial construction company founded in 1992 and with expertise in grain handling used in the ethanol industry. David McCormick was the founder.

Nothum did not know what caused the crash, which occurred in a farmer's pasture two miles north of Wellsville.

Nothum said bad weather likely was a factor, but the plane may have had mechanical failure. "There was lightning, high winds and rain," he said.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were on the scene investigating.

Cory said the plane took off from Spirit airport around 8 a.m.; the FAA lost contact with it at 8:15 a.m.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop F in Jefferson City said local law enforcement received phone calls from citizens reporting they had heard a plane with engine trouble.

Calls came in shortly after 8 a.m. The patrol said officers found the field where the plane crashed after 10 a.m.

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