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Nicole Parfitt (14) and her father died when their small plane crashed
Published: Nov 21, 2012 @ 12:20 AM
Nicole Parfitt (14)
Nov 18, 2012
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An Antioch man and his 14-year-old daughter were killed when their plane crashed as it approached a small airport just north of the Wisconsin-Illinois border, according to police and relatives.
Todd Parfitt, 50, and Nicole Parfitt, 14, died after the single-engine Grumman plane crashed into a cornfield about 1:25 p.m. Sunday as it approached the airport in Burlington, Wis., about 20 miles north of the state line, officials said. Both victims were thrown from the plane, they said.
"The preliminary information is that it crashed while attempting to land," said Lynn Lunsford, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.
Lunsford said the Burlington airport has no control tower, and the pilot was not in contact with air traffic controllers when the plane went down in a cornfield.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were at the airport today, according to Burlington Municipal Airport officials. The plane wreckage will be taken into a hanger so investigators can inspect it, an official said.
Nicole was a freshman at Antioch High School and was a popular member of the dance team, which huddled with counselors at school Monday.
Todd Parfitt, who had just turned 50, was a flight dispatcher for United Airlines, said a friend, Brent Bluthardt of Antioch.
"It's bad enough to lose a good friend, but with a child involved, it's worse," said Bluthardt, whose daughter also is on the dance team. "I know that Nicole loved going flying with her dad.
I am sure it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, and they were probably hoping for a last flight before the plane goes away for the winter."
The principal of Antioch High School said many students were wearing purple today, the color of the freshman class and Nicole's favorite color. The dance team, about 30 to 40 kids, and their two coaches were meeting with counselors.
"Evidently, it's a pretty emotional meeting," said Principal John Whitehurst, adding that the hallways were "eerily silent."
A Facebook page was created Sunday in honor of Nicole.
"They may have not made it to the runway that they intended, but they did land safely in heaven," one message reads.
Bailey Walker, who called herself a best friend of Nicole, said in a post: "Nicole, I love you so much. I will never forget all of our inside jokes and all of the times you made me laugh. How much I loved hanging out with you and just talking to you when I was upset made me feel so much better. You just knew how to cheer people up and you were always such an amazing person."
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