Iowa Plane Crash Kills ER Doctor, Senate Candidate

Posted on Oct 15, 2014

A single-engine Piper PA-46 attempting to land at Dubuque Regional Airport on the night of Monday, October 13 crashed, killing the plane’s sole occupant. The plane was approximately one mile north of the field, and was attempting a second instrument approach after the initial attempt ended in a go-around.


The plane’s pilot, 59-year-old Doug Butzier, was an emergency room doctor in Dubuque, and was running for the United States Senate as the Libertarian candidate. Butzier had been flying other candidates around Iowa all weekend for various campaign events, and was returning to Dubuque after an event in Ankeny.


The plane crashed into a home’s front yard, leaving a large trail of debris and starting a fire. The home’s occupant was not injured.


Butzier had filed an instrument flight plan, and was expected to land in Dubuque around 11 p.m. He had been in contact with Chicago Center throughout his flight, but did not report that he had executed a missed approach or landed. Officials called staff at Dubuque Airport to investigate, who heard about the crash from scanner traffic.


Both the National Transportation Safety Board, who heads up fatal crash investigations, and the Federal Aviation Administration will continue their investigation of the crash, the cause of which remains unknown. The field was reporting light rain and fog at the time of the crash. This is the first fatal plane crash at Dubuque Regional Airport since 2001.


The Phoenix aviation accident attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten would like to extend their condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Doug Butzier.