Neighborhood remembers decade since deadly plane crash

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JEFFERSON CITY - Tuesday marked the 10-year anniversary of a 50-seat passenger plane crash into a residential area.

The plane landed in a yard space surrounded by several homes. Capt. Jesse Rhodes and First Officer Richard Peter Cesarz died in the crash, but no one on land was harmed.

Nearby resident Alfred Kempker was in bed at the time of the crash. His wife, Janice, said she ran to the door as soon as she heard a loud crashing noise.

"I heard something and I went to the front door and it had just crashed," Kempker said. "So when I went to the door there was just one great big fireball and I had to shut the door cause it was so hot."

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) attributed the accident to operational and manufacturing issues. The NTSB report suggests the pilot exhibited unprofessional behavior attempting a high altitude climb, in part because of inadequate training.

It also determined an engine condition and lack of airplane flight manual warning contributed to the accident. According to the NTSB report, both engines flamed out after a pilot-induced aerodynamic stall and were unable to restart during the flight.

Saint Louis University announced last month it partnered with the Professional Aviation Board of Certification (PABC) and Professional Testing, Inc. to research different pilot training methods.

"The knowledge and skills required of airline pilots today are vastly different from those required 10 to 20 years ago," the university website states.

Since the crash happened in a residential area near a highway, the Kempkers said people abandoned their cars and flooded into their yard to see the scene.

"We had easy 200 people in our yards and some people on the roof," Alfred Kempker said.

The plane crashed about 2.5 miles south of Jefferson City Memorial Airport.

The map below shows the number of NTSB Airline Accident Reports per state since 1996. The markers are not associated with the specific geolocation of each airline accident. The darker the shade of red for each marker, the more reported accidents for the state. The markers in green did not have any reported by the NTSB.