A Beachcraft 18 2-engine plane carrying parachutists from Taylorville Municipal Airport, crashed in a residential area of Taylorville at 11:25 Saturday morning, killing the pilot but the parachutists got out before the plane went down.
Tony Molinaro, a public information officer with the Federal Aviation Administration, told Regional Radio News that the skydivers were released before the plane crashed in the Rich Street area of Taylorville. Molinaro said the pilot was the only person on board when the airplane went down, and he was killed.
Molinaro added that investigators from the F-A-A will be on scene to complete their work, then turn over their findings to the National Transportation Safety Board for a determination as to why the plane went down.
At 7:35 Saturday night, Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans released the identity of the pilot. 30 year old Brandon Sparrow, of Augusta, Illinois was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. An autopsy will be scheduled Monday in Bloomington.
Firefighter Tom Campbell of the Taylorville Fire Department talked with Regional Radio News late Saturday afternoon and said while the plane did crash into a residential area, no one on the ground was injured:
Campbell thanks the residents in the Rich Street area for their cooperation, and stressed the Taylorville Fire Department will allow them back into their homes as soon as possible.
An area bordered by Cheney to Shumway, and Vandeveer to Prairie Streets, was blocked off by fire officials just after the crash Saturday morning, in order to allow F-A-A officials to complete their investigation.