Two people died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve at the Johnson County Executive Airport, 15620 Park Hill, Overland Park,  according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.
Jonathan A. Vannetta, 48, of Maumelle, Ark., and Darcy L. Matthews, 43, of Belton, Texas, were found deceased in the aircraft. Vannetta had been piloting the plane. The Aviation Safety Network identified the aircraft as damaged beyond repair.
The aircraft ascended from the Johnson County Executive Airport runway, the highway patrol report stated. The aircraft went into the air and began to fall straight down. The aircraft landed in a field a short distance to the east of the runway and caught fire.
The aircraft was reported to be a 2000 M20S fixed wing single engine, license N602TF, from Tennessee, according to data supplied by Lori Sand, senior public information officer at the county manager’s office.
Vannatta was a paramedic and also a volunteer firefighter with the Maumelle Fire Department from 2006-2014. He currently worked for the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Jefferson County, Ark.,  Sheriff Lafayette Woods offered condolences to the families of Vannatta and Matthews in a press release.
“We grieve for Special Agent Vannatta and his family, and we offer our heartfelt sympathies to each and every member of DEA’s Little Rock District Office family,” he said. “Together as one law enforcement community we must stand and honor the memory of Special Agent Vannatta while continuing to support one another during this painful and difficult time.”
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the accident. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro said the single-engine Mooney M20S crashed “under unknown circumstances” shortly after departing from the airport.