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Plane that crashed in Oconto was doing volunteer work

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OCONTO, WI (WTAQ) - We're learning more about the plane that had to make a hard landing at an airport near Oconto Thursday afternoon.

The pilot's wife, Darlene Laws, told FOX 11 that her husband, John Laws, was flying the plane as a volunteer for Wings of Mercy. The non-profit helps transport low income patients to medical facilities.

The plane was flying patients from Rochester, Minnesota to Menominee, Michigan.

It was just after 3:30 p.m. Thursday that Oconto Fire and Rescue got a call about the plane flown by John Laws was having mechanical trouble. Officials say the plane came down hard on its landing gear, breaking the gear and causing the plane to skid off the runway on its belly.

Five people on board the 1971 Beechcraft Baron survived and three had to be hospitalized with minor injuries.

The Oconto County Sheriff's Department and the FAA are investigating the crash. Neither agency released any further details on Friday.

Darlene says John loves to fly, and has been a pilot for more than a dozen years, but that this crash has shaken him up pretty bad.

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