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Pilot killed in Johnson County plane crash will be 'sorely missed'

jonathan vannatta.jpg
Posted at 5:32 PM, Jan 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-02 18:32:40-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The pilot who died when his plane crashed at the Johnson County Executive Airport on Tuesday "will be sorely missed and fondly remembered," a post from the 352nd Civil Affairs Command reads.

Col. Jonathan Vannatta and his passenger, Darcy Matthews, were killed when, shortly after takeoff, their plane slowed, turned over and headed toward the ground, striking several trees before impact.

Vannatta was a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration in addition to his role as commander of the 354th Civil Affairs Brigade.

He was appointed to that position in August 2019, according to the post from the 352nd Civil Affairs Command.

The DEA said Vannatta was not on assignment at the time of the crash, and Matthews was not associated with the DEA.