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Dec 18, 2012 11:22 PM by MTN News

Tragic plane crash in Billings - 20 years ago today

BILLINGS - It was 20 years ago today - that a plane crash rocked Billings.

Just after 5pm on Dec. 18th 1992, a twin-engine Cessna Citation Jet carrying two pilots and six employees of the Western Area Power Administration... crashed on its final approach to Billings Logan International Airport.

The plane hit the Billings School District Two warehouse located in the Magic City's northeast industrial area.

All eight people on board died when the plane exploded on impact.

Miraculously, three School District Two employees were inside the warehouse at the time, but escaped unharmed.

Temperatures were below zero at the time of the crash, complicating the fire fighting effort.

The National Transportation Safety Board later determined the pilot of the Cessna was flying too close to a Boeing 757 cargo plane, and got caught in its wake turbulence.

All six W-A-P-A workers were from Billings.They were Gary Miller, Dale Corey, Richard Schirk, Magdelena Tafoya, Robert Nordmeier and Tracy Erger.

Also killed were pilots Curt Schwarz and Dan Arnold, both of Colorado.

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