MUSCATINE Co., Iowa (KWQC) – Two people have been identified after a fatal plane crash that happened in Muscatine on Wednesday.
Officials with the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office say 68-year-old Daniel Slack and 69-year-old Sharon Slack, died following the crash. The couple was from El Dorado Springs, Missouri.
On Wednesday, just after 2:30 p.m., officials received a report from the Quad-City Air Traffic Control reporting a possible downed aircraft west of Highway 38 on 170th Street. Air controllers lost both radio and radar contact with the pilot in the area.
Officials responded to the area and shortly after responding located the crashed plane in a field approximately a quarter-mile north of 170th Street.
THIS MORNING BOTH THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION AND N-T-S-B WERE ON SCENE PICKING UP DEBRIS AND DOCUMENTING THE AREA.
Thursday morning, the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were on scene picking up debris and documenting the area.
‘Because that is perishable evidence, we have to remove the wreckage from the accident scene,” says John Brannen, an investigator with NTSB.
Investigators say Wednesday’s severe weather may have played a role.
“We do know that there were some nearby storms in the area. We are going to be looking at the rader track of the airplane and weather radar data to see how close the airplane got,” says Brannen.
Officials say nearby first responders who came from Durant, Wilton, Muscatine, and Atalissa helped recovery efforts shortly after the crash.
“We got a lot of support from local resources like that and it’s very helpful for us. We usually have a very small crew that come out from the NTSB,” Brannen says.
FAA’s website has released registration information regarding the aircraft that crashed in Muscatine on Wednesday. According to the FAA’s website, a fixed-wing single-engine plane was manufactured in 1972, with the current registered owner being God Speed Aviation LLC. The registered number was listed as N2801T.
The preliminary accident and incident report shows the pilot, who has not been named at this time, crashed under “unknown circumstances” in a field in Muscatine.
Officials say following an “extensive search” first responders located two victims, the sole occupants, amongst the wreckage.
Following an investigation, officials believe the two left Ford Airport near Iron Mountain, Michigan, and were heading back to Missouri.
“It is unknown at this time what may have been the cause of the accident,” officials said in a release Thursday afternoon.
Daniel was a former school official with Deerfield Schools in Kansas and was with the district for a number of years.
“Current Deerfield school superintendent Tyson Eslinger confirms the Daniel Slack named in the media release was the former superintendent of Deerfield schools in KS,” school officials told TV6 Thursday afternoon.
Those assisting with this incident include volunteer fire departments from Durant, Wilton, Atalissa and Fruitland, the Muscatine Police and Fire Departments, Muscatine Search and Rescue, Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office and Reserve Sheriff’s Patrol, Iowa State Patrol, the Muscatine County Salvation Army, and Mills Marine of Muscatine.
According to a Tweet from NTSB, the involved plane is a Piper PA-28-180.
NTSB is investigating the July 14, 2021, crash of a Piper PA-28-180 near Muscatine, Iowa.
— NTSB_Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) July 14, 2021
Riess said crews from area fire departments, such as Muscatine, Durant, Wilton, Atalissa, have been paired up with area law enforcement to help with a grid search. Photographers were also on scene to help log, label, and document the scene, he added.
“Law enforcement and firefighters specifically are looking for not only victims but plane parts and whatnot,” Riess said. “They’re scattered between grassy field area and cornfield, those areas are difficult to search.”
Between 60 to 80 volunteers from various agencies were helping search the scene.
Medforce was first deployed to get an initial scan of the area, then Iowa State Patrol used their drone. Eventually, firefighters and law enforcement did a ground search of the field.
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