Names released of 2 killed in plane crash near Billard Airport

By Kion Hudson and Melissa Brunner
WIBW – August 1, 2017


Two people are reported dead in a small plane crash near Billard Airport.

The plane went down around 8:30 p.m. Monday in a field near the airport. The Kansas Highway Patrol told 13 NEWS two people were killed.

Those people were later identified as 76-year old William Leeds of Mission, Kansas, and 55-year old James Bergman of Leawood.

KHP said it is taking the lead in the investigation at the scene. KHP crash logs state Bergman as the co-pilot of the aircraft.

Staff at the National Weather Service office at Billard Airport called 911 to report the crash.

KHP crash logs state the aircraft was traveling southeast to northwest, and appeared to miss the runway, striking the ground at a high rate of speed. The plan impacted and turned about 180 degrees, where it came to rest in a grass field in between the runway and the taxi road to the airport terminal.

Eric Johnson, head of the Metropolitan Topeka Airport Authority, said Topeka Police, Topeka Fire, Kansas Highway Patrol and MTAA police and fire were among agencies responding. He said the FAA will be notified to assist in the investigation.

Johnson said the airport’s tower closes at 7 p.m., so would not have had communication with the aircraft.

A 13 NEWS search of FAA records shows the aircraft was a 1965 Piper PA-30 twin engine aircraft. KHP crash logs later confirmed that detail.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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