By: Leah Uko
OMAHA (KPTM) – Investigators are looking into what caused a small plane to crash and kill two people in northeast Nebraska Saturday night.
According to Madison County's Sheriff Vern Hjorth, the plane departed Karl Stefan Air Field in Norfolk around 8 p.m. on a return trip to Millard Airport.
26-year-old Dale Butler of Omaha was piloting the flight.
Butler was an aviation student at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. He had a passenger on the flight, 24-year-old Amy Brobst of Fort Collins, Colorado.
"He is just gone now," Ali Mahaman, a sophomore at UNO, said.
Mahaman and Butler were classmates. He said he heard about the accident on Facebook, but didn't know if it was true.
"All of his dreams and his family who supported him--it's just a big loss."
Lynn Lunsford with the Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was owned by Pro-Flite out of Millard Airport.
According to Butler's Facebook page, Hangar One, Millard Airport and a member of Nebraska Air National Guard employed him.
Because Butler had a private pilot license, he was allowed to take off in planes as long as the departing and arriving airports gave approval.
Sheriff Hjorth said the plane crashed into a soybean field and came to a stopped along a row of trees two-miles east of US 81 and Sherwood Road.
Because the crash was fatal, the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are in charge of the investigation and all updates.
"It could have been the weather or the aircraft," Mahaman said. "There could be a bunch of reasons behind this."
Until a definite cause is determined, Mahaman said he just wants to mourn Butler's death in peace.
The FAA said it would take 10 days to finish and release a preliminary report. It can take six months to a year to finish a final report.
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