Answers sought in Thanksgiving Arizona plane crash

by nph | November 28th, 2011

November 28, 2011

Three men and three children were killed in a plane crash in the Superstition Mountains, east of Apache Junction, Arizona, on Wednesday, the night before Thanksgiving, according to the Tucson Citizen.

Federal investigators say the aircraft flew into a cliff just four or five minutes after it took off. Then it burst into a fireball visible for miles.

The Pinal County Sheriff said that the catastrophic injuries to the victims and the nature of the debris suggest that they all died instantly.

Aboard the plane were a 39-year-old man and his three children, who were 9, 8, and 6; his boss, a 31-year-old man; and a 22-year-old aircraft mechanic.

Both the father and his boss were pilots. It is not clear who was piloting the plane at the time of the crash, Inspector Michael Huhn of the National Transportation Safety Board told reporters.

The aircraft was a Rockwell Aero Commander 690. It had recently been purchased by Ponderosa Aviation, Inc., and delivered on November 16.

Investigators will have a preliminary report in five days, but it could take months to make any conclusive determination, said Huhn.

Ultimately, he said, a chain of events, not a single event, is likely to have caused the crash.

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What do you think could have happened in this Arizona plane crash?

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