Two Dead After Plane Crashes in Ohio, Failed Engine Likely Cause of Crash

Two people were killed after a plane crashed in Ohio on Jan. 21.

While early reports indicated that six people were on board the aircraft, officials later said that it had only two people on board.

The plane crashed in front of a home off Hackett Road in Wayne County, just south of Stoltzfus Airfield.

A spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration said that after the plane took off, it hit some power lines, causing it to crash, reported WKYC. The plane was en route to the Akron-Canton Airport.

The plane was a Douglas DC-3 aircraft. Pictures showed its tail number: N467KS.

The plane was registered to Priority Air Charter in Kidron. According to the company’s website, Priority operates three Cessna 208B Grand Caravans and three Pilatus PC-12’s.

“Our aircraft are equipped with the latest in navigation and communication technology, including uplink satellite weather data. Priority’s professional dispatch, flight and maintenance teams, and two aircraft types, take economy, speed, and customer satisfaction to the next level in the private air charter industry!” the site stated.

“Our business philosophy of, ‘We’ll do what we say and do it well,’ and competitive prices, have led to many shippers preferring Priority over other carriers.”

Lt. Stephanie Norman, commander of the Wooster Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, told the Wooster Daily-Record that the 32-seat, two-engine plane hit the lines and crashed after one of its engines failed.

“The front end (of the plane) is gone,” she said. “The fuselage was torn off.”

Authorities said the plane took off from Preferred Airparts, which converts Douglas DC-3s from piston aircraft to turbines, according to the company’s website. The company is also a leading supplier of aircraft parts.

Preferred said that it is closed until further notice following the crash.

The two deceased were later identified by the Ohio Highway Patrol as Brian Stoltfus, 55, and Curtis Wilkerson, 56, reported Fox 8. Both men were from Apple Creek.

Initial reports said that four others were injured but the patrol said that no one else was injured. It said an engine failure did appear to cause the crash.

According to Priority, Stoltzfus was the president of the company and started it with his brother Ken in 1997.

“Brian loves to fly and spends much of his time in East Africa in missionary aviation. Hunting is a big interest when he’s not in the sky. He and his wife Sandi have four grown children, and three grandchildren,” it stated.

The plane that crashed had previously flown for Samaritans Purse, a Christian group that works overseas to help victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine.

Wilkerson is not listed on Priority’s “About Us” page.

Michael Morrison, who rents the home where the plane crashed, said that he heard and felt the impact. He and his fiancee were near the back of the house when the plane crashed on Monday morning.

“This was shaking the windows when it hit,” he told WKYC. “The smell, right away, was like a burning smell. I didn’t see fire. I saw the plane in the yard and just kind of panicked. I just tried to take everything in and do everything I could.”