| || Witnesses recount Pierre plane crash |
22nd January, 2006
Two witnesses to the plane crash that killed an 11-year-old boy said the plane seemed to be having mechanical trouble soon after takeoff from the Pierre airport. Release link: http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/aberdeennews/news/
The plane was moved Monday to a hangar where the National Transportation Safety Board will examine it as part of its probe.
Colt Gunderson, 11, of Pierre died in the crash Saturday afternoon. Pilot Clint Peitz and four young girls were hospitalized.
Todd Sandal, Steve Kuiper and others were outside at Sandal's home near the airport when the plane took off.
Kuiper and Sandal said they thought the plane was flying lower than normal. Sandal said the group heard ''popping'' sounds before the engine quit and the plane then started to glide back to the airport.
Kuiper and Sandal said they saw a puff of dust when the plane hit a hill before settling into a ravine.