Plane crash victim had roots in this county

A former Marion County resident was killed Sunday afternoon when the plane he was learning to pilot crashed just north of Wichita.

The student pilot, James “Jimmie” Peters, 20, formerly of Canada, was the son of Earl Peters and the late Judy DeVore.

Also killed in the accident was Peters’ flight instructor, Dan Toedter.

According to reports, the Cessna 172 Skyhawk plane they were flying crashed about 3:30 p.m. near 61st Street North and Ridge Road, close to the Wichita International Race Way.

The plane reportedly issued no distress signal before crashing, then exploding into flames.

While the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will examine the crash, it is reported no definite cause will be cited for several days or possibly weeks.

Some have speculated, however, that the teacher and student may have been making a simulated emergency landing near the race track, which is a standard part of flight instruction.

The plane had flown above three electric lines, but hit two smaller lines. The top of the plane’s rudder apparently hit the lines, tearing the top eight inches off the rudder.

The tail was bent and reportedly was torn loose from the fuselage, causing the plane to dive into the ground.

Peters had attended elementary school in Hillsboro and attended Marion’s Middle and High schools.

He also studied aviation at Kansas State University-Salina and Hesston College. He was a member of the Marion County Aviation Association.

A number of area students remembered the 1998 Marion High Prom King as a “very nice,” “kind,” “quiet” person who wanted to become a pilot after graduating from high school.

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