Two men remained in critical condition Thursday night, one day after their airplane overran a runway and crashed into a northeast Iowa cornfield.
Johnny Fayard of Gulfport, Miss., and Robert Paulk of Theodore, Ala., were passengers in a Cessna Citation turbo jet that attempted an emergency landing Wednesday morning near the Cresco airport.
They were hospitalized with serious injuries, while both pilots died in the crash: Clyde Lewis, 42, and William Eisner, 62 - both from Jackson, Miss. Ages were not reported.
The airplane was en route from Oxford, Miss., to Rochester, Minn. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the cause of the crash.
According to the Howard County sheriff's office, light rain was falling at the time of the crash and a storm front had moved through the area.
The twin-engine airplane was operated by Jackson Air Charter of Jackson, Miss., and owned by Tomco II of Nashville, Tenn.
Wheel tracks through a muddy soybean field and scrape marks on Highway 9 indicate the airplane ran off the runway at Ellen Church Field, an airport west of Cresco.
The tracks begin at the end of the runway and continue across the field to the highway. The airplane struck a ditch off the highway and went airborne, according to the Howard County sheriff's office. The metal belly landed upright in a cornfield about 150 yards north of the highway.
Fayard's wife, Tanya, said the passengers were flying to the Mayo Clinic where her husband was to receive a leg brace to treat reflex sympathetic dystrophy. The two were friends and business acquaintances, she said.