A Western Michigan University aviation student and three of his family members are dead after a Cessna 172 plane crashed at Oakland County International Airport on June 21.
Troy Brothers, WMU student and the pilot of the small four-seat single-engine plane, took off from runway 9 left heading east, according to a press release, and reached an estimated altitude of 100 feet when Brother’s contacted the air traffic control tower to request permission to turn around and land.
The plane crashed on airport grounds beyond the end of the runway at around 1:40 p.m., closing the airport for about 2.5 hours, according to the release. This crash is the greatest number of fatalities at OCIA in a single incident since the county took over airport operations in 1967.
Brother’s was dead at the scene. Also killed in the crash were his 58-year-old stepfather James Haley and his brother-in-law, 34-year-old Jamie Jose. His mother, 53-year-old Sandra Haley was transported to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Following the crash, Airport Rescue and Firefighting were on scene in less than a minute and extinguished the flames, according to the release.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims,” said J. David VanderVeen, director of central services for Oakland County. “This is a very sad day for Oakland County International Airport.”
The Federal Aviation Administration was on the scene Friday, and the National Transportation Safety Board was expected to arrive on Saturday to investigate the crash.
Meanwhile, WMU students and those who knew Brother’s have taken to Twitter to express their sympathy:
My heart and love goes out to the Brothers family. Troy, you were one great man with a great future and a wonderful impact upon so many— Scott Turner (@TurnerBurner69) June 22, 2013
RIP Troy Brothers haven’t talked to that kid in awhile since soccer days my heart just sank to the floor man….— Mark Plotts Jr (@MSP_JR3) June 22, 2013
Smooth flying and strong tailwinds to a fellow Bronco and pilot. The dangers of flying are always present. RIP Troy Brothers— Nick Bonello (@nickbonello) June 22, 2013