The pilot of a small plane, identified as a Wisconsin man on his way home from Nebraska, died when it crashed this (Friday) morning in North Sioux City, South Dakota. Brent Wheelock says he lives nearby and noticed the plane having trouble before the crash.
“We look over and here’s the plane coming out of the clouds,” he says. “At first it was falling like nose and tail, and then it started a nose-dive down, spinning as the wings were rotating around, and as it was falling I was running to grab the phone and dial 911 because I knew that this plane was not going to be able to recover from that.”
Wheelock says he and his wife live about half a mile from the scene of the crash, and went there after they heard it. Rescue squads were on the scene by the time he got there. He went up to them to tell them he was an eyewitnesses because he knows the Federal Aviation Administration sends investigators to this kind of crash scene to piece together the events that led up to it.
The owner, who was piloting the plane, has been identified as Michael Wille, a businessman from La Crosse, Wisconsin. Authorities say Wille took off from the airport in North Platte, Nebraska this morning bound for La Crosse in his plane, a twin-engine Beechcraft Baron 55. It went down around ten this morning in North Sioux City.
Some accounts from the industrial area just north of Sioux City claim the plane went down near a fireworks warehouse, but there are no other reports of damage caused by the crash.