Small Plane Crash in Clay County Claims Pilot’s Life

Emergency responders at the scene (photo Sarah Boyd Clay Co. Sheriff's Dept.)

UPDATE 07/20/23 4:05 PM: All roads have been reopened. FAA is on the scene investigating.

UPDATE 07/20/23 2:15 PM: The deceased pilot has been identified as 79-year-old Alan “Doug” Moler of Valley Center, Kan. Mr. Moler was en route to an airport in Wichita when the accident occurred.

The crash scattered debris outside the soybean field that will have to leave in place until federal aviation authorities arrive to conduct their investigation. Therefore, Cordell Street at 92 Highway, N.E. 150th Street, and parts of Shady Grove Road will remain closed until further notice.

The remnants of the badly burnt plane will be left in the soybean field until the FAA can finish conducting their investigation. In the background you can see the power lines that were struck during the crash. (photo Sarah Boyd Clay Co. Sheriff's Dept.)

In a tragic incident earlier today, a small plane crashed in a soybean field northwest of Mosby, Clay County. The Clay County Sheriff’s Department was alerted to the crash and promptly dispatched emergency services to the scene. The communications director, Sarah Boyd, provided a press briefing regarding the incident.

The plane, identified as a Piper with dual engines, had just taken off from the Midwest Regional Air Center in Mosby before the crash occurred. According to preliminary information, the aircraft struck power lines during its descent, causing them to fall and creating a hazardous situation with live wires. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have been contacted and are expected to investigate the crash.

The pilot, the sole occupant of the aircraft, did not survive the crash. Kearney and Excelsior Springs fire departments swiftly responded to the scene, where they encountered a devastating sight. The small plane was fully engulfed in flames, making the firefighters’ task all the more challenging. Despite their valiant efforts, the intensity of the fire required significant resources to extinguish. It has been revealed that the plane had recently refueled and was carrying approximately 140 gallons of fuel, contributing to the intensity of the blaze. 

As a precautionary measure, Cordell Street has been closed off at Highway 92 due to the presence of live wires in the area. The authorities are actively working to secure the scene and restore power to the surrounding community.

While the exact cause of the crash remains unknown, Boyd expressed hope that the FAA and NTSB investigations will shed light on the circumstances leading to the incident. At this time, there is no information suggesting that the pilot was a local resident of Clay County. However, further details regarding the pilot’s origin and intended destination are still under investigation.

As the investigation progresses, more information is expected to become available to determine the factors that contributed to the crash. Further updates will be provided as more details emerge from the ongoing investigation.

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