Authorities in Pottawattamie County have released the name of a pilot killed during the crash of an aircraft late Thursday morning, near Council Bluffs. Pottawattamie County Chief Deputy Sheriff John Reynolds told KJAN the crash victim and sole occupant of the aircraft, was 65-year old John W. Rogers, of Omaha. Reynolds said the plane, a 2003 Piper Malibu Meridian single-engine plane, left Omaha’s Eppley Airfield at 11:51 a.m.
He said the Pott. County 9-1-1 Center was notified about the crash at 11:55-a.m. Deputies and Troopers with the Iowa State Patrol arrived and discovered the body of the pilot inside the aircraft. Reynolds said when rescue and law enforcement arrived on the scene, they found the plane upside down after it struck some power lines. The left wing was completely torn-away from the fuselage.
Officials with the FAA were on the scene Thursday to begin their investigation, while crews from the NTSB were expected to be at the crash site some time today. The aircraft was registered to Airsea Charters, Inc., in Omaha. The NTSB was expected to conclude their on-site investigation today (Friday) before the plane is moved to a secure facility for a more thorough investigation.
Reynolds said early indications are the aircraft had experienced some sort of mechanical issue shortly after take-off from Omaha. Early reports indicated Rogers had radioed the tower requesting permission to return to the airport. As he was flying extremely low southbound, he banked to left. The wing-tip caught a power line, which caused the plane to cart-wheel into the ground.
According to FlightAware, the plane was scheduled to go from Omaha to a small airport in Trinidad, Colorado, and then later depart for Chandler, Arizona.