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Questions Go Unanswered In Naperville Plane Crash

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A small plane crashed into the roof of an XSport Fitness Center in Naperville on Oct. 6, 2010. (CBS)

A small plane crashed into the roof of an XSport Fitness Center in Naperville on Oct. 6, 2010. (CBS)

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. (STMW) - Weather and atmospheric conditions apparently played no roles when a private airplane crashed into the top of a building earlier this month in the far west-central part of Naperville, a preliminary aviation report from the National Transportation Safety Board indicated.

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Skies were clear and winds were nearly calm at 12:04 p.m. Oct. 6, when a Piper PA-32R-300 airplane smashed into a rooftop-area basketball court at XSport Fitness, injuring a couple from the unincorporated Aero Estates area.

The terse NTSB report showed the temperature was 70 degrees and winds were blowing at just over 9 mph when the plane left Runway 36 at the Naper Aero Club Airport, about a half-mile due south of the crash site. The asphalt runway measures 2,575 feet long by 30 feet wide, according to the report.

“Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident,” the report’s five-sentence narrative read in part. The “personal flight had an instrument rules flight plan on file,” and the crash occurred shortly after take-off, according to the report.

The narrative did not indicate when the NTSB’s final report might be issued. NTSB officials could not be reached late Monday by telephone for further comment on the report.

Lloyd and Maureen McKee suffered serious injuries when their plane slammed into the roof area of the fitness center, near the southeast corner of 75th Street and Route 59. Lloyd McKee, 66, was flying the plane at the time. The McKees were traveling to Pittsburgh.

Naperville firefighters pulled the couple from the wreckage. The estimated 280 people inside the fitness center at the time of the crash all escaped injury.

Lloyd McKee was released last week from Edward Hospital in Naperville after undergoing six days of treatment there. Maureen McKee, 63, was last listed there Thursday in good condition.

A Federal Aviation Administration report on the crash is pending.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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