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September 16, 2011
Two Purdue University engineering students died late on the afternoon of Thursday, September 15, when their small plane went down in a Noblesville, Indiana, golf course.
The plane, which was registered to DB Aircraft in Lynwood, Illinois, took off from Purdue’s airport at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, and went down at Harbour Trees Gold Club. A witness told The Indianapolis Star that the plane “corkscrewed right in” to the ground at 5:07 p.m.
The Indianapolis Star reports that the victims include a 21-year-old male from Noblesville and a 21-year-old male from Chicago Heights, Illinois. They were roommates, and both were mechanical engineering majors—one a junior and one a senior.
Forty-five-year-old Eric Smith, who lives very near to the crash site, saw the plane circle the golf course and then crash. He was the first one on the scene, and says that he pulled a wing off one of the men’s bodies and then “ripped the gas tank and threw it out” because he could tell that it was leaking. He didn't discern that there was another victim as well until emergency crews arrived.
It is unknown whether the plane was Purdue’s property, as the university rents planes to pilots.
The crash is being investigated by the Noblesville police, Indiana State Police, National Transportation Safety Board, and Federal Aviation Administration.
What do you think may have gone wrong in this Indiana aviation accident?
If you or someone you know has had their safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, contact the national aviation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy.
PHOTO SOURCE: Indianapolis Star
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