Just after 8:30 this morning, two small planes crashed midair above Dayton killing all three people in both planes. Although the wreckage debris landed on and around a few houses in the area of the crash, no one on the ground was seriously hurt. The dead include the pilot of one plane, identified as Sharon Noruse, who was flying a single-engine Piper Cub owned by Aerial Promotions, Inc. It collided in the air with a single-engine Cessna 172, owned by Pratt Air Academy. The Cessna was carrying a flight instructor and his student. However, the names of those two deceased individuals were withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Nouse, according to police, had worked for Aerial Promotions, Inc., for three months, and was towing a banner at the time of the crash. The Cessna, which belonged to the Pratt Air Academy, crashed into the roof of a house owned by Bobby and Dawn Correia of Holbrook Dr. Both businesses are located at the Municipal Airport.
Some witnesses said they heard a dull thud moments before the planes plummeted to the ground. Ronald Lin said he was standing in his back yard on Airport Boulevard when the collision occurred. As Lin said, “there was a moment when both planes just seemed to stop in midair for a second, and then they both fell to the ground.” Witnesses say it appeared the Cessna clipped the wing of the banner Plane, then got caught up in the banner, sending both to the ground. Lori Kaeppler, a neighbor of the Correias, said, “When it first hit, it sounded like a car hit our house or something. I ran to the front door and yelled to my husband. Call 911! We have a plane in the Correias house.” A fuel tank from the Cessna smashed into the ground in front of Trina Greenhouse as she sat on her front porch. She was taken to the hospital with complaints of burning eyes from the plane fuel.
According to police at the scene, at approximately height 800 feet above the ground, the Cessna became tangled up in the banner of the Piper Cub, sending both planes crashing to the ground. “It could have been a lot worse,” Police Chief Barry Koperud said. “People living in the area were very fortunate.” Authorities are reviewing traffic control tapes to uncover the exact cause of the accident.