Lexington, KY Chartered Plane Crash, Apr 1967


Lexington, Ky. (UPI) -- Fearing a delay in their regular flight would snarl other travel plans, eight business and professional men boarded a twin-engine chartered plane. Minutes later they and the pilot were dead.
Their Beechcraft spiraled to the ground, hit a low fence, plowed up 15 feet of ground, then burst into flames near famous Keeneland Race Course in the rolling Blue Grass country four miles west of here Monday afternoon.
Pilot ROBERT YONK of Lexington was thrown 20 in front of the plane. The passengers, including three doctors from Lexington Medical Center and a University of Kentucky professor, were trapped inside the flaming fuselage.
The wings and tail of the aircraft were virtually intact.
Rescue teams, who had to pry the bodies away from molten metal, made the identifications from papers, billfolds and other personal effects which ironically were untouched by the flames.
Coroner Chester Hager identified the victims as:
DR. RICHARD SCHWEET, all of the University of Kentucky Medical Center.
R. C. SIMONINI, a professor at the university.
G. R. WATKINS, a consulting engineer.
JESSE HORN, a building contractor, both of Lexington.
RICHARD H. SOUTHWIND, JR., Buffalo Grove, Illinois.
ARNOLD SALOP, Austin, Tex.
Lexington Air Taxi Service, which owned the plane said it had been chartered by Piedmont Airlines to ferry eight passengers from Lexington to Louisville, 72 miles to the west.
A spokesman for PIedmont said the eight victims, along with six others, had been schedulted to leave Bluegrass Field here on Flight 473 for Louisville.
Flight 473, however, was delayed in Roanoke, Va., by mechanical troubles. The waiting passengers in Lexington, according to Piedmont President Thomas H. Davis, then asked that a plane be chartered to take them to Louisville where they had to make connections for other flights.
Two planes, both Beechcrafts, were chartered. The second plane, carrying the other six passengers, arrived safely in Louisville.
YONK made what appeared to be a "normal take off" airport manager Logan Grey said, then developed engine trouble and crashed 1 3/4 miles from the end of the field's north runway.
Don Duckworth, a radio broadcaster who does traffic reports from the air, took off in his single-engine Cessna just after YONK took off.
He and Grey both said YONK had not radioed of any trouble before the crash.
Duckworth, flying over the scene only a minute later, said the plane already was englufed in flames.

Middlesboro Daily News Kentucky 1967-04-04