Authorities Sunday identified the man and woman killed in a small plane crash Saturday night about two miles southeast of Norfolk.
Twenty-six-year-old Dale Butler of Omaha and 24-year-old Amy Brobst of Fort Collins, Colorado both died on impact. Butler was a member of the UNO flight team, The Flying Mavs.
The Piper PA-28 was registered to the Pro-Flite Inc. flight training school based in Omaha. Company officials declined to comment on the crash Sunday because they don't yet know what happened.
The Norfolk Daily News reported that FAA officials said the plane struck a power line before crashing into some trees and coming to rest in a soybean field.
A pilot who witnessed the plane take off from the Norfolk airport said he immediately knew something was wrong. “It was very erratic coming low over the hangars and wobbling almost in a stall position and we were afraid he would crash into the hangars here,” said Jerry Kohles.
The plane was headed for Millard Airport.
Friend Chuck Hill says Butler was supposed to be in his wedding. "It was shocking, you know? It was very pretty hard to deal with because, I mean, I just talked to him a couple of nights ago about tux measurements for the wedding in August. He was always the guy you go to when you had a bad day and honestly he was one of my closest friends and I really just don't know what I'm going to do at this point. It's going to be a lot harder now."
Scott Vlasek, director of the UNO Aviation Institute, released this statement Sunday afternoon:
"On Sunday morning I was notified that Dale Butler, one of our students and a licensed pilot, was killed in an aviation-related accident that occurred on Saturday evening near Norfolk, Ne. I want to offer my heartfelt sympathies to the Butler family. From my understanding, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have begun their investigation process into the accident and at this time we have not received any additional information. Our faculty and students are heartbroken over the loss of Dale."