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Four Killed in Ill. Plane Crash

December 24, 1997

HAMPSHIRE, Ill. (AP) _ A small plane plunged out of control into a cornfield, plowing a deep hole in the ground and killing two married couples heading home to Illinois from Florida.

Two of the victims were thrown out of the Piper seven-seater in Monday night’s crash.

The wreck was discovered Tuesday morning near Hampshire Township, about 50 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, Sheriff Kenneth Ramsey said.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration were investigating.

The victims left Orlando, Fla., Monday and were expected home that night. They crashed just a few miles from their destination, a local private landing strip.

A deep hole at the crash site suggested the plane hit at a high speed after the pilot lost control, said NTSB investigator David Bowling.

The left wing snapped off, the plane flipped and broke apart, the NTSB said. There was light rain, low clouds and limited visibility Monday night.

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