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Victims in Atchison plane crash remembered for passion and love of flying

ATCHISON COUNTY, Kan. -- A plane crashed shortly after takeoff Sunday morning, killing the pilot and a passenger. Tonight, the victims are being remembered for their passion and love of flying.

Vlado Lenoch and Bethany Root were killed in a plane crash Sunday morning.

The pilot, 64-year-old Vlado Lenoch, was advertised as one of the highlights of this weekend's Amelia Earhart Festival in Atchison. His passenger, 34-year-old Bethany Root, also had close ties to the Kansas aviation community.

FOX 4's Molly Balkenbush spoke to a woman who worked with Bethany Root at the Amelia Earhart airport, where Root was the general manager.

They said she died doing what she loved most.

A P-51 Mustang called "Baby-Duck" crashed, killing the two people on board.

Investigators said the crash happened around 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning near Cummings, Kan.,  about nine miles southwest of Atchison.

They said the plane was only in the air for 10 or 15 minutes before it crashed.

Neighbors called 911 after it slammed into a field.

Jacque Pregont is the coordinator of the Amelia Earhart Festival, and said she worked with Bethany.

"Very enthusiastic, very energetic. She loved to fly; she loved aviation; she wanted everybody else to love aviation," Pregont said. "Find something that you're really passionate about and do it, and that's what she was doing."

The pilot was in town to fly during Saturday's festival.

Many people were commenting on our FOX 4 Facebook page how heartbroken they were to hear this news and how they had just watched Lenoch's incredible performance at the festival.

The plane wa a P-51 Mustang named "Baby-Duck" that flew along the Missouri River in the air show at the Amelia Earhart Festival on Saturday.

"Baby-Duck" was a historic military aircraft built in 1944 and saw service during World War II.