Beaver County, OK Private Plane Crash, Mar 1979
PANHANDLE AIR CRASH KILLS SIX.
HUGOTON FAMILY OF FOUR AMONG VICTIMS.
Hugoton - A former Hugoton city councilman and his family were killed Friday night in an airplane crash in the Oklahoma Panhandle just south of Liberal.
Dead are GARY HADSELL, 36, his wife MARILYN, 34, and their children KIM, 7, and MATT, 5.
Also killed was the pilot EUGENE FRANZ, 60, and his son ALAN, 29, both of Liberal. The elder FRANZ was president and owner of Supreme Feeders, Inc., at Liberal and his son was vice-president.
HADSELL, Hugoton, was employed at Supreme Feeders.
The crash occurred at 7:45 p.m., shortly after the twin engine Beech Baron took off from the Liberal Airport. The plane crashed in a field in Beaver County, Okla., two miles south of the Kansas border - or about four miles south of Liberal.
A spokesman of the Liberal Airport stated flying conditions at the time of takeoff as fair. Rain and snow that pelted much of Southwest Kansas hadn't reached Liberal at that time, the spokesman said. Ceiling was 400 feet and visibility 10 miles.
A spokesman at the Liberal Airport said the victims were bound for Olathe, near Kansas City.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said a preliminary investigation of the wreckage provided no clues to the cause of the accident. Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration were expected to arrive in Liberal Saturday to examine the demolished aircraft.
A spokesman at Supreme Feeders said the FRANZS' and HADSELL were to attend a business meeting in Olathe and the HANDELLS also had planned to visit Mrs. Handell's parents there.
A worker at an oil rig owned by Zenith Drilling Co., just 50 yards from the crash site said the victims were killed instantly and that all but the tail section of the plane burned.
Another eyewitness to the crash said both engines of the plane were on fire prior to the crash.
Names of the victims were released at about 10:30 a.m. Saturday. A spokesman with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said the bodies were taken to Oklahoma City for positive identification.
Garden City Telegram Kansas 1979-03-03