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Illinois Family of 3 Dies in Small Plane Crash

July 25, 2011

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July 25, 2011

Three family members died on Sunday morning near Rantoul, Illinois, when their single-engine plane went down shortly after takeoff. The family—a 56-year old man, his 47-year-old wife, and 19-year-old daughter—lived and worked in Champaign.

The Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette reports that the plane crashed near Rantoul Airport around 9:20 a.m. The family had been headed to take their daughter—a University of Chicago sophomore—to a volleyball camp in Sarasota, Florida. The father was piloting his Piper PA 46 at the time of the crash. He reportedly rented a hangar at Rantoul Airport to store his plane.

When emergency crews arrived at the crash site it was already engulfed in flames, reports The Chicago Tribune.

There was severe weather in the area at the time of the crash.

"[The pilot] was way beyond cautious in terms of safety and procedures,” a family friend told The News-Gazette, adding that the man had been flying planes for two decades. “He loved to fly and was very judicious about his safety and precautions.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have both begun their investigations of the aviation accident.

The couple’s 26-year-old daughter was not on the plane. The family’s two dogs also died in the crash.

Read more.

Do you think small planes should be allowed to take off during bad weather?

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 courtesy of The News-Gazette

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