Montezuma, OH Skydiving Plane Crashes, May 1999


Celina (AP) -- Five skydivers and the pilot of their plane died Sunday when their plane apparently lost power after take-off and crashed in a soybean field, authorities and witnesses said.
The accident happened about 6 p.m. south of Celina near Lakefield Airport in Montezuma.
Initial reports said the plane crashed into the field after experiencing engine trouble, the patrol said. The six occupants, five men and a woman, were dead at the scene, said the Highway State Patrol, which released the names early Monday.
Killed were the pilot of the Cessna, PRESTON E. PARRISH II, of Tipp City, Ohio; JACK HAENICHEN, 31, of Ottawa, Ohio; MICHELLE KORSEN, 43, and AARON SCHROEDER, 30, both of Fort Wayne, Ind.; KEITH EDWARDS, 40, of Marion, Ind.; and JOHN HOOVER, 43, of Huntington, Ind.
Dairy farmer Charles Schwieterman was taking a break from the afternoon milking when he heard the plane overhead, about a mile from the runway.
"He seemed like he was trying to climb but the engine didn't sound right. You could tell it was not up to power," Schwieterman said Sunday night.
"I thought it was in trouble right away. He seemed like he wasn't getting anywhere.
It seemed like he didn't have any power," said Schwieterman, 61, of Celina.
The engine started sputtering, then "clonked completely out," Schwieterman said. He saw one skydiver jump out but the person's chute opened only partway, he said.
"The plane went into half a turn and went straight down head first," said Schwieterman, the first person to reach the downed airplane. He found at least three bodies lying outside the plane, which landed in a soybean field owned by a neighboring former.

Chronicle Telegram Elyria Ohio 1999-05-10