04/21/2006 12:00AM

Pennsylvania farm co-owners dead in crash

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The co-owners of Regal Heir Farms, one of Pennsylvania's most prominent farms, have been killed in a helicopter crash.

Dennis Madonna, 48, and J. Bradley Jones, 67, died instantly Thursday when the helicopter they were in spun out of control in an attempt to land on the Grantville, Pa., property, according to local media reports. Madonna was the pilot.

The pair and their wives, Michele Madonna and Sue Jones, purchased Regal Heir last September from Tom and Ann Reigle. They changed the name from Reigle Heir to Regal Heir and earlier this year combined the operation with two nearby farms. Regal Heir now includes 232 acres.

Regal Heir stands 1998 Kentucky Derby winner and champion 3-year-old Real Quiet, who moved there from Kentucky for the 2006 breeding season, and such well-known Pennsylvania sires as Patton, Mazel Trick, Caller I.D., Banker's Gold, and Cat's Career.

The National Transportation Safety Board was still investigating the crash Friday.