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Pilots Identified In Fatal Plane Crash
Updated September 22, 2014 7:51 AM | Filed under: Accident
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(BLOOMINGTON) - Using dental record comparisons, Monroe County Coroner Nicole Meyer has determined 51-year-old Russell Kotlarek from Saukville, Wisconsin and 72-year-old Thomas Saccio from Blounts Creek, North Carolina were the two men who died in a plane crash in Monroe County on Thursday.

The preliminary causes of death are trauma as a result of the crash. The final causes are pending toxicology reports. Both men are pilots. Indiana State Police say the crash happened at 12:58 p.m. in a wooded area behind 85 Oard Road near State Road 48, approximately one-quarter mile north of the Monroe County Airport.

According to police, a person on board the Hurricane ultralight reported a mechanical issue, possibly involving fuel related mechanisms, to the Monroe County Airport tower. The airport manager says the pilot reported having low fuel pressure. The pilot was about 7 miles from the airport when he radioed the tower. The pilot was given permission to land. The control tower asked the pilot to contact them again when he was 2 miles out. He did at 3 miles out. The control tower operators then saw a large amount of smoke and attempted to contact the pilot. There was no response.

Investigators say while the plane was approaching the airport from the north, traveling south, the plane lost altitude and crashed into a small shed and wooded area behind a home. The plane was immediately engulfed in flames.

The investigation is underway by ISP Master Trooper Mark Clephane of the Bloomington Post and the Federal Aviation Administration. The investigation could take weeks to complete.

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