2 die in small plane crash in Nebraska

NORFOLK, Neb. — Federal investigators are trying to determine why a small plane crashed in northeast Nebraska this weekend, killing both people aboard.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived at the crash site, about two miles southeast of Norfolk, on Sunday evening, said agency spokesman Eric Weiss.

Madison County Sheriff Vern Hjorth said 26-year-old Dale Butler of Omaha and 24-year-old Amy Brobst of Fort Collins, Colo., both died when the plane crashed Saturday evening.

Butler, the pilot, was a college student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Aviation Institute and licensed to fly, according to university officials.

Hjorth said the plane crashed into a soybean field shortly after taking off from the Norfolk airport.

Weiss said witnesses told NTSB officials that the plane struck a power line about a half-mile from the impact site. The Norfolk Daily News reported that Federal Aviation Adminstration officials said the plane then crashed into some trees.

The Piper PA-28 plane that crashed was registered to the Pro-Flite Inc. flight training school based in Omaha. The single-engine aircraft was built in 1967, according to FAA records.

Company officials declined to comment on the crash Sunday because they don’t yet know what happened.

The NTSB will lead the investigation into the crash. Weiss said a preliminary report will be issued within 10 business days.

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