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Oak Lawn man killed in small plane crash at NW Indiana airport

Sun-Times file photo

A southwest suburban man was killed in a plane crash Thursday morning at an airport in northwest Indiana.

At 10:46 a.m., the plane’s pilot, identified as 40-year-old Azam J. Zayed of Oak Lawn, was killed when the single-engine Piper Comanche crashed shortly after taking off from Porter County Regional Airport in Valparaiso, according to the Porter County sheriff’s and coroner’s offices.

According to witness statements, Zayed lost control of the plane after complications affected the takeoff.

He was the only occupant of the plane, authorities said.

The crash was being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators with the FAA were still on scene Thursday night and a flight restriction was expected to remain in place until midnight.

A spokesman for NTSB said an investigator was scheduled to be on-scene until Saturday and would be examining the plan’s engine and conducting interviews with witnesses.

It wasn’t immediately known where the plane was headed, the spokesman said.