A small airplane crashed north of the Monroe Municipal Airport on Sunday, killing four family members aboard, the Green County Sheriff’s Office said.
Sheriff Mark Rohloff said the pilot was a grandmother and the three passengers were her daughter and two granddaughters. All four died at the scene. Authorities had not released their names.
The Cessna 182T went down in a grassy meadow near a tree line about a mile north of the airport — and within sight of the airport’s runway, Rohloff said.
The crash was reported just after noon.
The single-engine plane was scheduled to arrive in Monroe after taking off from the Kenosha Regional Airport in the morning, he said.
The Monroe Municipal Airport, which has two runways, is east of the city on Highway 59. The plane crashed in the town of Sylvester.
Rohloff said firefighters extinguished a fire at the scene upon arrival.
“We have debris scattered over a rather large area there, in the trees and the grass,” he said.
A witness heard the plane losing power, saw it descending and noticed flames coming from the aircraft, Rohloff said.
“We’re assuming there was some sort of mechanical problems,” he said.
The National Transportation Safety Board will take the lead in the investigation, and officials with the Federal Aviation Administration were already on the scene by Sunday afternoon, Rohloff said. He anticipates the scene will be shut down for at least a couple of days during the investigation.
Rohloff said there was mist and fog in the area at the time of the crash.
Firefighters from the Monroe, Juda, Monticello, Brodhead and Evansville departments responded to the crash to put out flames and search the scene. The Sheriff’s Office is in contact with family members of the victims, Rohloff said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.