A pilot and three passengers who flew from the Kenosha Regional Airport Sunday morning were killed when their plane crashed in an open field north of the Monroe Airport, according to authorities.
Green County Sheriff Mark Rohloff told the Kenosha News that the victims were the pilot, an 81-year-old woman; her daughter, 53, and her two teenage children, a girl, 17, and a boy, 13.
Rohloff said their names were not released pending positive identification and notification of all next of kin.
Around noon, the Green County Sheriff’s Department received several 911 calls reporting that witnesses had seen a plane in the sky lose altitude and crash, according to a news release issued by the agency.
The plane was apparently on fire when it went down into an open field north of the airport, where it was expected to land. However, it crashed into a wooded area immediately north of the open field and hit some trees.
An initial investigation revealed the pilot had filed a flight plan out of Chicago and listed four people on board. There were no survivors.
During a news conference posted by Madison station KNOW 27 on its Facebook page, Rohloff said the plane was scheduled to land in Monroe after having taken off from Kenosha.
He said a caller heard the plane losing power and saw it descend in flames.
Rohloff said the victims’ family members had been tracking the flight, and when they lost contact with the aircraft, they contacted Monroe authorities.
The sheriff said the plane appeared to be a four-seater plane, and that the pilot had flown to the Monroe airport before.
Asked at the news conference whether foggy weather had contributed to the crash, Rohloff said the plane was already experiencing an emergency and was trying to land.
Rohloff said the crash site would be closed off for at least two days as the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board investigate the crash.
Kenosha airport officials could not be reached for comment Sunday.
When first responders arrived, they said the plane was fully engulfed in flames. The Monroe Fire Department responded and extinguished the flames, according to the Green County release.
Fire departments from Monroe, Juda, Monticello, Evansville and Brodhead responded, as did the Green County Sheriff’s Department and emergency medical service.