Husband, wife killed after plane crashes at KC downtown airport


A husband and wife were killed after a small propeller plane crashed Sunday at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport.

John and Diana Lallo, of Youngstown, OH, died after their single-engine Mooney plane crashed about 2:45 p.m. shortly after taking off near the levee just south from the runway.

Fire spokesman James Garrett said the couple were the only two people on the plane. No other injuries were reported.

"We didn't hear anything. No boom, no smoke. We didn't see fire, nothing," Navarrio Smith said.

Smith watched the tragedy unfold from Ermine Case Jr. Park located across the Missouri River from the airport.

"Everybody thought he landed. Everybody thought he just hit a nice little spot and landed, until police arrived," Smith said.

The couple, who owns a small business in Ohio, were on a recreational flight, so a flight plan did not have to filed. It is unknown at this time as to why they were in Kansas City.

The plane is registered to Air McRoyal in Youngstown.

Lynn Lunsford, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, says the pilot reported engine trouble shortly after departing the airport. He says the plane crashed about a quarter mile from the airport. FAA records show the plane was registered to Air McRoyal, of Youngstown, OH.

Lunsford says investigators were headed to the scene.

Garrett said the cause of the crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Wheeler Airport, located just west of downtown Kansas City, is used largely by corporate and recreational flyers.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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