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Linn County Leader - Brookfield, MO
  • Plane crash victims were business owner, flight instructor

  • Crash near Kirksville Regional Airport on Tuesday night killed two people.
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  • A business trip ended in tragedy for the president of a geosynthetic materials company and a flight instructor when a single-engine plane crashed north of the Kirksville Regional Airport on Tuesday evening.
    The crash of the Piper 32-A Saratoga single-engine plane sometime after 7:15 p.m. killed Robert Groh, 64, and James Quinn, 66. The flight originated in Denver and was on its return to Wisconsin.
    No cause of the crash has been identified by the National Transportation Safety Board.
    Groh was the president and owner of Geo-Synthetics LLC of Waukesha, Wis. In a statement released to the Waukesha Freeman newspaper on Wednesday afternoon, the company said Groh was traveling on business and was flying back after meeting with a customer.
    The company was founded in 1971 by Groh's father, Robert M. Groh. Its website describes the company as a leader in geosynthetic material production and installation and touts such projects as construction of whitewater rapid recirculating rivers in Charlotte, N.C.
    "Bob is remembered as man passionate about his business with a big heart for family, friends and employees," the company's statement read. "He embraced challenging situations, reveling in resolving any problem. He will be missed dearly by all that have had to the pleasure to have known him."
    The Waukesha Freeman spoke to a woman at Quinn's home who said she didn't have enough information to comment and asked the family's privacy be respected.
    Quinn was a senior flight instructor at Wisconsin Aviation.
    Kirksville Regional Airport first made contact with the inbound flight around 7:15 p.m., advising it of wind speeds and altitude. Officials lost contact with the flight about three miles from the airport. Wreckage was found about 2.5 miles north of the airport, near the intersection of Hedgepath and Quail lanes.

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