Friends and neighbors remember two men killed in plane crash

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Two men from the metro area that died in a plane crash Tuesday near Pleasanton, Ks., had a love of flying.

Friends and neighbors of 57-year-old Brian Decker say they're stunned to learn that he was a passenger on that plane.

Also killed in the crash was the pilot, 67-year-old Herbert Siegel of Stillwell, Ks. Siegel had been a prominent dentist in Kansas City for more than 30 years.

Patients traveled from as far away as Higginsville, Mo., and Smithville, Mo., to see him.

Decker was a hard-working home builder from Independence. He too was a pilot. And the two men also shared a love of horseback riding.

"My wife called me this morning and told me Brian had passed away in this airplane wreck it shocked the hell out of me," said Mike Sambursky, who's known Decker for 35 years. "I'm still kind of shocked over it because you don't expect it. One day you're here, and one day you're not."

The Zodiac 2-seater aircraft belonged to Siegel and is considered a kit plane. Friends say Siegel called the plane "Ducky" after his mother. FAA records indicate this model has had issues, and the government required modifications before it could be certified to fly.

The FAA says the plane crashed shortly after takeoff when it hit a tree. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause.

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