Waterford, Michigan -- Four individuals died after a Cessna 172 crashed at Oakland County International Airport (OCIA) at 1:40 p.m. today. The deceased are the pilot, 19-year-old Troy Brothers of Fraser; his mother, 53-year-old Sandra Haley of Fraser; his step-father 58-year-old James Haley; and his brother-in-law, 34-year-old Jamie Jose of South Lyon, a Northfield Township firefighter.
The plane was taking off from runway 9 Left (heading east) and reached an estimated altitude of 100 feet when the pilot contacted the air traffic control tower to request permission to turn around and land, according to the air traffic control tower chief. The plane crashed on the airport grounds beyond the end of the runway. The incident closed the airport for about 2-1/2 hours.
Airport Rescue and Firefighting was on scene in less than a minute and extinguished the flames. Three males were dead on the scene. A female was transported by Waterford Township Fire Department to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims,” said J. David VanderVeen, director of central services for Oakland County. “This is a very sad day for Oakland County International Airport.”
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is on scene. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is expected to arrive Saturday. Waterford Police will remain on scene to provide security for the crash site.
This is the greatest number of fatalities in an aircraft accident at OCIA since the county took over airport operations in 1967. The last fatal crash at OCIA was in 2006 when two died in a small plane crash on airport grounds near Williams Lake Road. Since then, OCIA has had 1.1 million safe takeoffs and landings.
Runway 9 Left is 5,675 feet long. It is the smaller of the airport’s two runways. Runway 9 Left is primarily used by smaller aircraft. The Cessna 172 was a small single-engine aircraft that seats four.
OCIA is Michigan’s second busiest airport behind Detroit-Metropolitan Wayne County International Airport in terms of takeoffs and landings with approximately 150,000 per year. It serves general aviation and business aircraft.
Further questions with regard to the crash investigation should be directed to the NTSB. Any questions about air traffic control should go to the FAA. For media inquiries only about the airport or medical examiner, please contact Bill Mullan, media and communications officer for Oakland County, at 248-202-9668.