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Fri, May 23, 2008

Beech 1900 Down On Takeoff In Billings, MT

Freight Hauler Impacts Building, Pilot Lost

ANN REALTIME UPDATE 05.23.08 1505 EDT: Officials with Alpine Air have confirmed one of their pilots, Kelly William Lynch, was the sole fatality in the crash of a Beech 1900C in Billings, MT.

Company CEO Gene Mallette and General Manager Bill Distefano of Alpine Air are reportedly headed to Billings to assist investigators in determining why the aircraft went down shortly after takeoff early Friday morning.

The aircraft was reportedly transporting 5,000 lbs of mail to Great Falls.

Original Report

0855 EDT: Details are sketchy regarding the fatal downing of a Beechcraft 1900 twin turboprop in Billings, MT early Friday morning.

Here's what we know so far. The aircraft, believed to be carrying US mail, went down on takeoff from Billings Logan International Airport at approximately 0120 MDT. The B1900 (type shown below) reportedly impacted a building near Main Street and Jerrie Lane, about two miles northeast of the airport.

The pilot and sole occupant onboard the aircraft was killed.

The aircraft caught fire on impact, reports KULR-8. The Billings Fire Department responded to the scene, as did the Airport Fire & Rescue division.

According to the news station, the plane took off from the airport "but changed directions," possibly indicating an attempt to return to the airport.

The pilot's identity has not been released, nor has information about the plane's operator. Online flight tracking website FlightAware.com shows several Alpine Air B1900s and Beech 99s scheduled to leave Billings at the approximate time of the accident.

ANN will update this story as more information becomes available.

FMI: www.faa.gov

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