Small plane crashes into home near Stearman Field in Benton


Officials are investigating the cause of a small plane crash. It happened around 1:15 p.m. near Stearman Field.

Several crews responded and found that the Cessna L-19 in a home.

Per crash reports, student Victor Riffel, 65, was piloting the plane at the time of the landing. He was uninjured. The instructor, Joseph Bertapelle, 35, is suspected to have received minor injuries. He was taken to Wesley Medical Center for treatment.

Authorities say there are two runways at Stearman Field: paved and unpaved. Riffel attempted to land on the unpaved runway but lost control. The plane veered southwest, eventually hitting the home.

“As the airplane was landing, for an undetermined reason veered off to the right and crashed,” said Lt. Clarence Schreiber, Kansas Highway Patrol Air Support Unit. 

The home received some structural damage. 

“They are going to secure the residence after we get the plane moved and go from there,” added Schreiber. “Right now, the plane is still leaking some from the fuel tanks, and that is why we have it roped off. The fuel is going into containers, and they set up some kiddie pools because we don’t know how much is going to drain.”

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