An airplane that crashed in Franklin County and killed three people stopped for fuel twice at Columbus Municipal Airport, officials said.
A single-engine Cessna that left Kansas City, Missouri, was headed to an airport in Frederick, Maryland, when the crash occurred at 9:10 p.m. Saturday in a wooded area in Oldenburg in southeastern Indiana, said Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, Indiana State Police spokesman. Emergency responders were notified that an aircraft had crashed and that the plane possibly caught fire, he said.
Air traffic control at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport had reported that a plane had disappeared from radar in the area where the crash was reported, Wheeles said. Fire from the wreckage was discovered in a wooded area behind a residence, where three people and a dog were found dead, Wheeles said. A second dog survived, he said.
The three who died in the crash were identified Tuesday afternoon as Dr. Louis Cantilena, 63, of Potomac, Maryland, the pilot; Dr. Paul Schuda, 65, of Arlington, Virginia; and Dr. Amy Cantilena, 31, also of Potomac, daughter of the pilot, Wheeles said.
Columbus Municipal Airport director Brian Payne said the Cessna had stopped at the airport on Saturday to purchase fuel at 12:02 p.m. and again 8:32 p.m., about a half-hour before the crash was reported.
The airport in Columbus was contacted at 11:52 p.m. Saturday about the aircraft, which had fueled at the self-fuel farm. After being notified, the Columbus airport shut down the fuel system following protocol from the Federal Aviation Administration so that no other aircraft could purchase self-service fuel, Payne said.
Payne said the self-fuel system will remain offline until the quality of the fuel has been inspected and approved. The FAA obtained fuel samples around 10:30 a.m. Sunday, while the airport planned to submit its own independent samples overnight to a lab, he said.
There is no immediate impact to other pilots needing fuel since only the airport’s self-fuel system was shut off, Payne said, adding that he expects the self-fuel program to be brought back online in the next few days.
The airport still has fuel available for service by its fixed-based operator, Payne said.
Payne said he was in contact with FAA officials on Monday to discuss the airport’s operating procedures. It remains unclear what caused the plane to crash, authorities said.
The Indiana State Police is working with the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board on the ongoing investigation, which is expected to take weeks to complete, authorities said.