Plane Crash in Montana Kills 14


A private airplane that may have been taking family members on a ski trip nosedived into a cemetery just short of an airport in Butte, Montana and burst into flames yesterday. News reports say that seven adults and seven children were aboard the plane, and that one of the family members was piloting the craft.

Because the plane, a single-engine Pilatus PC-12, had no voice or flight data recorder, discovering what caused the plane crash will take a very long time, according to the FAA. However, it was known that the flight was headed to Bozeman, but was rerouted to Butte. It is unclear at this point exactly why the plane was rerouted. Weather on Sunday was clear, so authorities do not believe that was a factor. The Pilatus PC-12 is designed to carry 11 people, two in the cockpit and nine in the cabin. However, some of the children aboard were so young they were probably being held on their parents’ laps.

Witnesses say the plane was turning hard before it suddenly dove into the ground where an explosion set several trees on fire. No one on the ground was injured.

A registered flight plan shows the plane originated in Redland, California, and made stops in Vacaville and Oroville, California, before heading to Montana. There are conflicting reports of who the owner of the plane was, but St. Helena Hospital in St. Helena, California has confirmed that one of its ophthalmologists, his wife, and their three young children were aboard the plane when it crashed.