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2 dead after plane crash in Atchison County

17 July 2017, 04:00 | Terri Saunders

The plane crashed at 238 Ness Road just before 10:30 a.m. Bethany Root

The plane crashed at 238 Ness Road just before 10:30 a.m

The Atchison County Sheriff's Office said Bethany Root, General Manager of the Amelia Earhart Airport, was the passenger of a World War II fighter plane when it crashed shortly after takeoff Sunday morning.

In a recent interview with the Tribune Chronicle, Root said she followed a love of flying to the St. Joseph, Mo., area three years ago and worked for the airport's management company. We've learned the two people killed in the crash were the plane's only two occupants.

The Atchison County Sheriff's Office responded to a crash reported at 10:18 a.m. near 234th and Ness Road in Atchison County.

The cause of Sunday's crash, near Cummings, Kansas, is now unknown.

Bethany Root
The plane crashed at 238 Ness Road just before 10:30 a.m. Bethany Root

Authorities identified the victims of Sunday's crash as 64-year-old Vlado Lenoch, of Burr Ridge, Illinois, and 34-year-old Bethany Root, of Atchison.

The Federal Aviation Administration is heading to the crash site to conduct an investigation.

The FAA will investigate the crash, an agency spokesman said, and the National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation. He earned an aeronautical engineering degree from Purdue University and a master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He held multiple authorizations for various aircraft, had logged over 9,000 hours of flight time and built his own aircraft - a Pitts S-IT - the bio said. She worked at Amelia Earhart Airport as a fixed-base operator who organized training sessions for aspiring pilots. The educational opportunities that they provide there and the teachers they had helped prepare me for what I'm doing now and I can't say thank you enough to all of them. And the festival was "excited to have (Lenoch) at the airshow".

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

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