CUMMINGS — Authorities say an Illinois pilot and his passenger have died after a World War II-era P-51 Mustang fighter crashed one day after it flew in a festival that celebrates famed aviator Amelia Earhart in her Kansas hometown.
The Kansas City Star reports that the crash happened Sunday in a field less than 10 miles from the airport in Atchison. The crash killed the pilot, 64-year-old Vlado Lenoch, of Burr Ridge, Ill., and his passenger, 34-year-old Bethany Root. Root was the manager of the Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport in Atchison, which is about 45 miles northwest of Kansas City.
Kansas Highway Patrol Lt. Bryce Whelpley says the cause is unknown. He says federal officials will investigate.
Festival coordinator Jacque Pregont described the deaths as “a horrible, horrible loss.”