Runaway Learjet crashes in South Dakota; All 5 dead
October 25, 1999
MINA, South Dakota (CNN) -- A runaway private jet with five people aboard crashed on farmland in northeast South Dakota on Monday, authorities said. There were no survivors, the South Dakota governor's office said.
The identities and of those on board was not immediately known.
Flight controllers lost radio contact with the Learjet 35 during the morning, while the plane was over Florida. The aircraft -- with two pilots and three passengers -- went down about four hours later.
It crashed about two miles outside of Mina, west of Aberdeen, in Edmunds County, police said.
Earlier, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration had described the plane as being "in distress." Pilots on military planes, sent up to track the civilian aircraft, said the occupants were "nonresponsive."
Before the crash, the Air Force said two F-16 fighters from the Oklahoma Air National Guard in Tulsa were tracking the Learjet which took off from Orlando, Florida, at 9:20 a.m. EDT headed toward Dallas, Texas.
Air traffic controllers lost radio contact with the plane about 20 minutes later, as it passed Gainesville, Florida.
Military Affairs Correspondent Jamie McIntyre contributed to this report.
Learjet crashes in South Dakota
Oklahoma Air Guard
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