WATERFORD (WWJ) – Four people were killed when a small plane crashed on takeoff, Thursday afternoon, at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford.
J. David VanderVeen, director of central services for Oakland County, said everyone on board — three men and one woman — died in the crash.
“As about 1:40 this afternoon a pilot with three passengers was taking off on … our training runway,” said VanderVeen. “Reportedly — and I did talk to the tower — it reached about 100 feet, (the pilot) requested permission to turn around and land, and then didn’t make it … crashed in the field beyond the runway.”
[UPDATE 6/22: Radio transmissions show too much weight may have caused the crash. Read more here]
VanderVeen said there were four people on board, including the pilot. He said three of them were killed on impact and the four died at a local hospital a short time later.
Killed in the crash are the pilot, 19-year-old Troy Brothers of Fraser; his mother, 53-year-old Sandra Haley of Fraser; his step-father 58-year-old James Haley; and his brother-in-law, 34-year-old Jamie Jose of South Lyon, a Northfield Township firefighter.
WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke with Richard Widdett, a manager at one of the flight schools at the airport.
“It was on fire before. I didn’t see it in flames, because I got there after they’d put it out with some kinda foam,” Widdett said. “There was loads of ambulances and police cars just coming in — and they closed down the airport, obviously. I’m not sure how long they’re gonna be closed.”
Widdett said the plane had broken into pieces.
It was not immediately clear who owned the plane or where it was headed.
The National Traffic Safety Board and FAA officials are expected to investigate exactly how and why the Cessna 172 plane went down.
Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com for the latest.