Firefighters killed in Indiana airport plane collision

Two firefighters died when their light aircraft crashed into another plane at an Indiana airport Sunday afternoon, au...

Posted: Apr 3, 2018 12:13 PM
Updated: Apr 3, 2018 12:13 PM

Two firefighters died when their light aircraft crashed into another plane at an Indiana airport Sunday afternoon, authorities say.

Pilot Kyle Hibst and his passenger David Wittkamper were firefighters with the Pipe Creek Township Fire Department in Madison County, the Madison County Emergency Management Agency said.

"A single-engine Cessna 150 collided on the ground this afternoon with a Cessna 525 CitationJet at Marion Municipal Airport in Marion, Indiana," the FAA said in a statement.

"Preliminary information indicates that the Cessna 150 was attempting to take off about 5:09 ET when it struck the tail of the Citation, which had just landed. The Cessna 150 was carrying two people and the Citation had five aboard."

Marion Municipal Airport does not have a control tower, meaning pilots must communicate via radio, a pilot who keeps his plane at the airport told CNN affiliate WRTV.

Firefighting community

Both Wittkamper and Hibst were married and had strong connections to the Pipe Creek firefighting community, the Pipe Creek Township Fire Department said in a statement published by the Madison County Emergency Management Agency.

Hibst had been a firefighter since 2011 and also served as EMS chief for the department, of which his wife was also a member. He leaves behind a young son.

Wittkamper's father and grandfather were past members and he had been a firefighter wince 2007. "David (Wittenkamper) grew up with the firefighters as his family," the department said.

CNN affiliate WRTV said both men were aged 31 and from Elwood.

"Chief Richard Shepherd is saddened by the loss of these two great individuals who have given so much back to their family, community and this fire department. The members of the Pipe Creek Fire Department are all at a loss as they come together to help each other thru this difficult time.

"Chief Shepherd is grateful for the outpouring of support from the emergency services in Madison County. Please respect the privacy of our firefighters, and the families who have lost loved ones tonight," the statement concluded.

The department posted a tribute on Facebook early Monday, with a black band across its logo.

"It is with great sadness and sorrow we announce the passing of two of our own," it said. "Fire Fighters Kyle Hibst and David Wittkamper were taken from us due to a aviation accident yesterday afternoon. Words cannot express the pain and loss each of us feel. Our hearts go out to both families involved. Rest Easy Brothers we will take it from here.."

The FAA said its investigators were traveling to the scene and that the National Transportation Safety Board would be in charge of the investigation.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 148387

Reported Deaths: 3769
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto9953104
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Jackson6270119
Rankin5462102
Lee501095
Madison4734106
Forrest380586
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Jefferson Davis56517
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Webster43414
Kemper42518
Wilkinson39422
Jefferson34811
Franklin3365
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Issaquena1144
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 242874

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31944500
Mobile19687361
Madison13065148
Tuscaloosa12983154
Montgomery12286236
Shelby1020377
Baldwin860398
Lee773566
Morgan653850
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Franklin251033
Coffee242615
Dale231854
Dallas225932
Chilton221938
Russell22143
Covington218534
Escambia197931
Chambers176550
Tallapoosa175791
Pike158314
Clarke158019
Marion137936
Winston132323
Lawrence127336
Pickens122318
Geneva12138
Marengo121024
Bibb117317
Barbour117110
Butler115341
Randolph102021
Cherokee101524
Hale96131
Clay91124
Washington90919
Fayette89816
Henry8526
Lowndes79529
Monroe78711
Cleburne77114
Macon73122
Crenshaw71130
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Perry6846
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Wilcox63218
Sumter57722
Greene42418
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