Somerset, KY Private Plane Crash, May 2000


Somerset, Ky. (AP) - A twin-engine plane crash south of the Somerset airport killed the founder of a Pennsylvania real estate company and three company employees.
The crash was one of two in Kentucky on Tuesday.
One man died in an unrelated crash in Carter County that happened less than an hour before the Pulaski County crash.
"We're saddened by the loss of our founder and chairman and three of our colleagues," said Elaine Griffin, a spokeswoman for the Hart Corp., told the Lexington Herald-Leader.
B. KEN HART, the company founder, was en route to inspect a manufacturing facility in Somerset when the plane clipped a microwave radio antenna and crashed into a grove of cedar trees about a mile south of the Somerset airport.
Griffin refused to identify the other three employees of Hart Corp.
who died in the crash about noon Tuesday near an area known as Bend of the Lakes.
The 460-foot tower was owned and operated by East Kentucky Power.
The crash occurred when the cloud ceiling was as low as 700 feet. It happened at about 12:02 p.m. as the plane was cleared to begin a landing approach, said a spokesman from the Federal Aviation Administration in Atlanta.
The plane, a Beechcraft KingAir C-90, had taken off from Columbus, Ohio en route to Somerset, an FAA spokesman said.
Pulaski County Coroner Alan Stringer said it appears the plane came out of the clouds, clipped trees atop a hill and then struck a tower guy-wire, shearing off a wing and the tail of the plane.
Most of the wreckage was found in an area about 200 feet by 300 feet.
Sterling Spencer was driving a water truck on a road about 50 feet from where the plane hit the ground.
"I heard a big loud noise," Spencer said in a telephone interview. "I looked in my mirror and saw fire."
Jennings said the National Transportation Safety Board was scheduled to arrive today to take over the investigation.

Indiana Gazette Pennsylvania 2000-05-25