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Retired Luke Air Force Base pilot dies in small-plane crash in Ohio field


PHOENIX – A pilot from Arizona was killed Sunday when his small plane crashed into a farm field in Ohio, authorities said.

Authorities told the Columbus Dispatch that Lt. Col. Matthew Hayden, 44, of Phoenix, left the Dayton Municipal Airport around 5:15 p.m.

The Cessna 421B fixed-wing air craft went down about a half-hour later. Hayden was on his way to an airfield in Delaware County.

Chief Deputy Tom Morgan of the Union County Sheriff’s Office said the plane skidded across a road then hit a power pole.

Morgan did not know if others were aboard.

It was snowing in Union County when the airplane crashed, but authorities have not yet determined if weather was a factor.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are investigating.

According to Luke Air Force Base, Hayden arrived at the base in 2014 and was an F-35 instructor pilot until he retired last year.

He entered the Air Force in 1998 after graduating with distinguished honors from the Air Force Academy.

He had logged more than 2,500 flight hours in more than 30 different aircraft over his career.

Hayden was the second Arizona pilot to die in a small plane crash in Ohio in less than a week.

David Sapp, a 62-year-old Sun City man, was piloting a twin-engine Piper PA-31 Navajo that went down in suburban Cincinnati on March 13.

Sapp crashed into a house in Madeira. No one was home when the plane hit a room then came to a stop in the backyard.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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