Former local state representative killed in plane crash

Former Kansas Representative Don Dahl, 69, of Hillsboro was killed Friday afternoon in Marion County after the ultra-light aircraft he was flying crashed near a pond about two miles south and one-half mile west of Hillsboro on 170th Road.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, Dahl was flying northbound at a low altitude about 1:45 p.m. when the aircraft hit a tree branch, then hit the ground next to a pond and flipped upside down.

?The ultra-light plane then came to rest upside down in the pond,? a KHP trooper said.

Dahl was taken by ambulance to Hillsboro Community Hospital.

He was pronounced dead at 2:37 p.m. by an attending physician at HCH and the coroner.

The ultra-light aircraft was left on the private property where it crashed at the request of the landowner, authorities said.

In addition to the KHP, the Marion County Sheriff?s office was on scene.

From 1997 to 2008, Dahl was a Kansas representative and in his last two years was speaker pro tem.?He was a?retired U.S. Navy commander, along with being a pilot, parachutist and in special operations from 1968 to 1990.?During his military service, he was in Japan, Korea and the Philippines.

Dahl was on the Supreme Court Nominating Commission after being appointed in December by Gov. Sam Brownback.

Brownback, in a statement Friday, said he was ?greatly saddened? to hear of Dahl?s death and extended sympathy to his family and friends.

?He had a proud legacy of public service,? the governor said.

No other information was available, but more details will be provided as the investigation is ongoing.