Whidbey Island, Wash. The US Coast Guard has released the names of all 10 people who were on a floatplane that crashed off Whidbey Island on Sunday.
Nine adults and a child were on board when the plane went down at 3:11 pm. One person was found dead at the scene. The other nine victims are missing and have been presumed dead.
Jason Winters – Pilot
According to Northwest Seaplane’s Instagram account, Winters had been flying since 1995 and with Northwest Seaplanes since 2013.
Sandra “Sandy” Williams
According to The Spokesman-Review Williams was reportedly a civil rights activist who founded a black newspaper, The Black Lens, and a community center, the Carl Maxi Center, in Spokane.
Many are sending tributes to Williams, including state Sen. Andy Billing, who serves Spokane’s third legislative district.
He said of Williams in a Facebook post, “Sandy was a leader in the truest sense of the word. She worked with others to create a vision for positive change, a plan to achieve that change.” Then, he dug himself to work and others lined up to follow him.His incredible work to create the Carl Maxi Center will leave a legacy of positive impact for generations to come and the surplus he left in the Middle East WSDOT was also a driving force in creating and passing bills to transform land from vacant lots into badly needed housing. You’ll be missed, Sandy. Tear down.”
Patricia “Pat” Hicks
According to the Seattle Times, Pat Hicks was a retired Los Angeles schoolteacher who was returning from vacation in the San Juan Islands with his partner Sandy Williams.
Luke Ludwig and Rebecca Ludwig
According to WCCO.com, a family member confirmed that Luke Ludwig, 42, and his wife, Rebecca Ludwig, 42, were killed in the accident. A married couple from Minneapolis lived in Excelsior. Their children are safe and with other families.
Joan Mera, 60, hails from San Diego and is the CEO of a successful events company. She was on her way to visit the family at the time of the accident. She is survived by her three children, her husband over the age of 30, sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews. A statement from the family said, “Joan Mera was attracted to everyone, she was the life of any party and the soul of our family. She was the best mother, wife, sister and friend. Our hearts are broken, not only for the loss of our family, but for the loss we know other families are feeling right now. ,
Gabrielle Hanna, 29, was a budding lawyer in Seattle. In a statement to his employer, Cooley, he said, “Our colleague and friend Gabriel Hannah lost his life in a tragic floatplane crash that killed nine others. Beginning with us as a summer colleague, Gabby spent the entirety of his brief legal career with Cooley. In his few years with the firm, Gabby had already established himself as a true talent and team player, delivering the highest quality services to our clients. Was dedicated to providing service and advice. Importantly, Gabby was always quick to smile and a true believer in – and contributor to – coolie culture. She will be sorely missed.”
Ross Mikel, Lauren Hilty and Remy Mikel
Ross Mikel was the owner of the Eastside-based Ross Andrew Winery. According to a report in The Seattle Times, his wife Lauren Hilty and their 22-month-old son Remi were also on board the plane.
According to TMZ, Lauren Hilty is the sister of “Smash” actress Megan Hilty, who also played Glinda in “Wicked” on Broadway. Lauren was also pregnant at the time of the accident.
All the victims were identified early Tuesday after the Coast Guard suspended an active search for nine of the 10 accident victims on Monday afternoon.
The man whose body was recovered at the scene was transferred to the Island County Coroner and has yet to be identified as positive. It is the Coast Guard’s policy not to release the names of the deceased or missing until at least 24 hours after the next of kin have been notified.
“The Coast Guard offers its deepest sympathies to those who have lost a loved one in this tragedy,” the commodore said. Xochitl Castañeda, the search and rescue mission coordinator for the accident.
The Coast Guard said in a statement that it covered 1,283 linear nautical miles during its search and saturated an area of more than 2,100 square nautical miles.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the single-engined float aircraft that crashed was a DHC-3 Turbine Otter. According to South Whidbey Fire/EMS, the plane is about 200 feet deep in the water.
While the Coast Guard will submit its findings to the NTSB to investigate the accident, if more debris is washed ashore than they expected, Coast Guard search teams will return.
Meanwhile, experts are sharing what could be wrong with the floatplane as it made its way to Renton.
Kathleen Bangs is a former commercial and floatplane pilot. He said he saw FlightAware flight tracker data and the plane fell into 700 feet of water.
“Was there some sort of structural failure that happened so suddenly that the pilot couldn’t do anything? Because the airplane appeared to have hit the ocean completely out of control,” Bangs said.
Bangs said investigators will look into whether the pilot was incapacitated, if the plane collided with a bird or a drone and how well the aircraft was maintained.
This is not the first time seaplanes have crashed in western Washington.
In 2016, a de Havilland DHC-2 beaver was carrying four people to the southern end of López Island.
All the passengers were thrown overboard, but they were all saved by nearby sailors.
In July 2020, two seaplanes crashed in Lake Washington. The first took place on July 1 on the shore near Lakeside Avenue. Two people were on board. Both survived.
The second occurred on 28 July near Carillon Point in Kirkland.
That pilot also survived.
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