A cargo plane crashed into a row of trees and skidded into a cornfield shortly after takeoff, killing all three crew members and sparking a fire, authorities said.
The twin-engine 1956 Convair 580, owned by local cargo transporter Air Tahoma, departed from Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus at around noon on Monday and had turned around to land at the airport.
It crashed south of Columbus near the town of Lockbourne, Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Tony Bradshaw said. The pilot radioed the airport just before the crash to ask for a landing strip, but said there was no need for emergency equipment, Pickaway County Sheriff Dwight Radcliff said.
Kevin Roberts, who lives on a farm near the crash site, was repairing a tractor when he and a friend heard the plane. "We heard the plane fly low, and it sounded so loud it shook the barn," he said. "Then we heard a boom. We looked out and saw smoke." Seven fire departments worked to bring the fire under control, with some firefighters driving tankers through cornfields to get to the hard to reach site.
The plane was headed to Mansfield in northern Ohio, FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said.
Bradshaw said the victims were: Urs Anderegg of Miami, 58; James Monahan, 57, of Plantation, Florida; and Sean Gardiner, 41, of Miami. The Federal Aviation Administration was trying to determine which of the victims was the pilot.