Plane crash here results in death of Warsaw pilot

A plane crash last week in Switzerland County resulted in the death of a Gallatin County, Kentucky, man.


A plane crash last week in Switzerland County resulted in the death of a Gallatin County, Kentucky, man.
Officials with the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Department, the Gallatin County, Kentucky, Sheriff’s Department, the Indiana State Police and the Civil Air Patrol began the search for the small aircraft after witnesses reported seeing it go down at approximately 5 p.m. last Thursday afternoon, July 19th.
Just before noon on Friday, July 20th, investigators, with the help of Civil Air Patrol members and also a helicopter from a television crew from Cincinnati, located the wreckage in a cornfield near North Bend Farms near Patriot.
The pilot of the plane, Robert D. Askins, 67, of Warsaw, Kentucky, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officials says that Askins, an experienced pilot, purchased the plane around July 4th, and took off in the aircraft on Thursday afternoon from a private airstrip on his property in Gallatin County.
Askins was a retired commercial pilot for Delta Airlines; and also served his country as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force, including a time as a fighter pilot instructor.
According to an official release from the Civil Air Patrol in Frankfort, Kentucky, the Civil Air Patrol located the wreckage of the missing plane at 11:17 a.m. Friday morning. The pilot left the airport in Warsaw Thursday around 5 p.m. The pilot stated he was going on a fuel run and would return. After he failed to show, the family reported him missing. A mission request was issued by Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) and Civil Air Patrol received the assignment at 11:37 p.m. on Thursday night.
Members from Lexington, Louisville, Cincinnati, and Bowling Green Squadrons launched into action. Air and ground crews searched Thursday night and through Friday using radar tracking and information on flight. After storms cleared and Air crews were able to return to area and they spotted aircraft crashed in corn field in Southern Indiana in Switzerland County. The scene was turned over to local law enforcement and Emergency Management.
Col Williamson, Wing Commander for Kentucky, and Major Michael Weimer, Kentucky Wing Group 3 Commander were coordinated as Incident Commanders with over 25 Civil Air Patrol members that assisted with the search and mission base staffing.
“We had a radar report of the planes last position and concentrated search efforts in that area. Our big break was when the weather allowed us to get a plane in the air to search the direct area of last radar contact and that is when they found the plane. Teams were sent out overnight to listen for any ELT signals and to do a preliminary visual search of the area,” reported Major Michael Weimer.
Civil Air Patrol’s dedicated all-volunteer force operates the largest fleet of Cessna aircraft in the world for the purposes of search and rescue, disaster relief, natural disaster damage assessment and aerospace education.
Investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration were still on the scene early this week, gathering evidence as well as wreckage from the plane in an attempt to determine what may have caused the crash.
Anyone having any other information on the crash is asked to call the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Office at (812) 427-3636.