Veteran journalist Carl Hoffman believes he’s solved one of the great mysteries of the 20th century. In 1961 at the age of 23, Michael Rockefeller – son of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and a member of one of the richest and most powerful families in America ¬– travelled to remote New Guinea in search of primitive art for his father’s new museum.
Two killed in plane crash near Rickenbacker Airport
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The plane crashed before 7 a.m. about a mile from Rickenbacker’s main runway. An airport spokeswoman says the aircraft was found intact, and on its top in a field in northern Pickaway county.
The Pickaway County sheriff’s office says the pilot, 58-year-old James A. Babcock of Wooster, and a passenger, 34-year-old Michael B. Bratek of Blasdell, New York, were killed.
The single-engine Cessna was chartered by Columbus-based AirNet Systems. The company, headquartered at Rickenbacker airport, specializes in time-sensitive deliveries.
Airnet spokesman Bob Lentz says the plane was headed for Buffalo, New York carrying bank paperwork and potentially hazardous materials.
“It was primarily canceled checks and then also included express service packages which are generally those that require time-sensitive delivery of high custody and control. Among those was a low-grade radio pharmaceutical,” he said.
Lentz says the Federal Aviation Administration conducted tests on the site and found no contamination from the pharmaceuticals.
Lenz says the company owns 100 planes and employs about 170 pilots, but regularly charters flights through other companies. Bratek, the passenger of the aircraft, was also a pilot who worked for Airnet.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.