DATE: Saturday, December 21, 2019
SUBJECT: Fatal Light Aircraft Crash at Camp Reveal
CONTACT: Major Noah Robinson
AUTHORITY: Sheriff Dave Wedding

UPDATE (12/23/2019 8:38PM)

The National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Aviation Administration and the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office continue to gather information concerning the recent plane crash at Camp Reveal in northern Vanderburgh County. Some information previously reported by our Office has been updated.

On Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 3:14 PM a 1971 Piper Cherokee fixed wing aircraft crashed into an open field at Camp Reveal off E. Boonville New Harmony Road in Evansville, Indiana. The aircraft is owned by X-Cell Aviation of Evansville. The Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Office identified the pilot as 56-year-old Phillip M. Burke of Newburgh, Indiana.

The aircraft was fueled at Tri-State Aero at the Evansville Airport before departing at approximately 2:20 PM Saturday. The aircraft traveled north before returning south to the Evansville area. The aircraft had been in contact with the Evansville tower prior to the crash, but no mayday or emergency transmission was received.

The aircraft crashed into a grassy field approximately 30 feet north of 1000-block of East Boonville-New Harmony Road. The Coroner’s Office indicated the pilot suffered multiple blunt force trauma.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration were at the scene Saturday night and were joined by a National Transportation Safety Board investigator on Sunday. A representative of Piper Aircraft was also on-scene to assist in the investigation.


A small light aircraft has crashed on the grounds of Camp Reveal off East Boonville-New Harmony Road, killing the sole pilot.

At 3:14PM on December 21, 2019 the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office, McCutchanville Fire Department and the Scott Township Fire Department responded to Camp Reveal upon report of an aircraft crash.

A small Cessna light aircraft had attempted an emergency landing east of the main entrance to the camp. The pilot, who was able to maneuver the aircraft into an open field and avoid striking any buildings, was killed during the crash. The aircraft had departed from Tri-State Aero, but began losing altitude and crash-landed while traveling north.

The name of the pilot will be released by the Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Office once all family notifications have been made.

As is standard procedure for all aircraft crashes, the Indiana State Police (ISP), the National Transportation Safety Bureau (NTSB), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been notified.

Pictured above: Crash scene at Camp Reveal.

Pictured above: Crash location denoted by star.