Authorities identify 2 men killed in plane crash at Billard Airp - KCTV5

Authorities identify 2 men killed in plane crash at Billard Airport in Topeka

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Two people have died following a plane crash Monday evening in Topeka. (WIBW) Two people have died following a plane crash Monday evening in Topeka. (WIBW)
TOPEKA, KS (KCTV/WIBW) -

Two people have died following a plane crash Monday evening in Topeka. 

The plane crashed at Billard Airport, our CBS affiliate WIBW reported Tuesday evening. 

FAA records indicate the plane that crashed was a 1965 Piper PA-30 twin engine. It was registered to an owner out of Mission, KS.

Authorities have identified the men killed in the crash. They say, William Leeds, 61, of Mission, KS, was piloting the plane and that James Bergman, 55, of Leawood, KS, was the plane's co-pilot.

Authorities say the crash happened around 8:30 p.m.

The KHP says the plane was traveling southeast to northwest. They say the plane appeared to miss the runway and then hit the ground at a high rate of speed. The aircraft spun 180 degrees before coming to rest in a grass field between the runway and the taxi road to the airport terminal.

Eric Johnson, head of the Metropolitan Topeka Airport Authority, said Topeka Police, Topeka Fire, Kansas Highway Patrol and MTAA police and fire were among agencies responding.

The plane that crashed belonged to James Guglielmino, a friend of both Leeds and Bergman. 

Guglielmino says Bergman was a flight instructor and Leeds was planning to take his flight test on Wednesday to be qualified to fly twin-engine aircraft. Bergman had at least 100 hours in the plane while Leeds had between 50 and 60 hours.

The National Transportation Safety Board says a post-accident examination of the airplane revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

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