Pilot killed after plane runs off runway at Rockford airport, catches fire

Chicago News
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ROCKFORD, Ill. — One person was killed in a plane crash in Rockford Thursday when a small craft skidded off the runway and burst into flames.

Officials at the Rockford airport said the pilot of the plane did not escape the aircraft before it was fully engulfed in flames.

Fire crews were called to what was originally reported as a fire on the runway at Chicago Rockford International Airport and it turned out to be a fire on a King Air 200 plane.

The plane started taxiing around 3:40 p.m. Thursday afternoon, and two minutes later rescue crews were called.

The charred wreckage of the two-engine plane remains on the runway.

The Winnebago County Coroner confirmed one person died in the plane.

The aircraft can typically hold between 6 and 12 passengers, but airport officials said the pilot was the only person on board.

“It was believed to be taking off, the last understanding was that it was taxiing on the runway. That was the last communication that I’m aware of, that anyone had with the aircraft,” Michelle Cassaro, airport deputy director, said.

The National Transportation Safety Board is on site investigating what caused the crash.

The name of the pilot who died has not been released yet.

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