Victims of Iowa plane crash planned to hunt in S.D.DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities on Wednesday released the names of three Wisconsin men killed in a small plane crash in northwest Iowa, and family members said the men were on their way to South Dakota to hunt prairie dogs.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities on Wednesday released the names of three Wisconsin men killed in a small plane crash in northwest Iowa, and family members said the men were on their way to South Dakota to hunt prairie dogs.
The single-engine Piper 28 crashed near Sheldon in O'Brien County about 11 a.m. Tuesday.
The sheriff's office identified the men as Francis Allegretti, 64, of Cambridge, Wis.; Thomas Boos, 60, of Fort Atkinson, Wis.; and Malcolm McMillan, 65, of Milton, Wis.
The Federal Aviation Administration said Jerome Goodger, of Milton, Wis., owned the plane. A telephone message to Goodger on Wednesday was not immediately returned.
FAA records also list McMillan as a co-owner.
FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said no flight plan was filed, so the plane's destination was unclear. It also wasn't clear who was flying the plane, and the cause of the crash was still under investigation.
Nancy Boos said her husband, who was retired after working 27 years making malt at a barley plant, built and flew ultralight planes but wasn't a licensed pilot.
``He helped his friends build two or three of them,' she said. ``He loved hunting, fishing and flying.'
Her husband hunted ``everything' and for seven years held the record for shooting the largest wild turkey in Wisconsin, Nancy Boos said.
Boos said her husband and Allegretti had gone prairie dog hunting last year, too, but drove to South Dakota for that trip.
``They just helped the farmers get rid of them,' she said.
Dickie McMillan said her husband was a building contractor who owned a business with his son. She said he was an avid pilot but grounded himself because of some heart issues.
Malcolm McMillan also served for many years as co-chair of flight safety for the annual Experimental Aircraft Association fly-in and convention in Oshkosh, Wis., his wife said.
Dickie McMillan said it was to be her husband's first time hunting prairie dogs in South Dakota.
``This was to be a wonderful pleasure trip,' she said. ``My husband said a good day was jumping on his Harley and driving to the airport to go flying.'
Malcolm McMillan had three sons, two daughters and 11 grandchildren.
``He was the love of my life and he still is the love of my life,' Dickie McMillan said. ``He is just a good, good man. It is like anybody he touched became a friend.'
The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, S.D., said thunderstorms with heavy rain were moving through the area at the time of the crash.
Deputies found the plane partially on its top at the edge of a gravel road.
``It just flew into an embankment,' said O'Brien County Chief Deputy Allen Schuknecht after the crash. ``It looked like it might have been able to land if it hadn't hit that road.'
The plane suffered major structural damage but appeared largely intact, he said. There was no fire.
Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board did not immediately return a message seeking comment Wednesday.