JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (WKBW) — Three people were killed when a small plane crashed Sunday on a hill off Routes 60 and 380 in the Chautauqua County Town of Ellicott, the sheriff's office reported Monday.
Two passengers and a pilot were inside the small aircraft when it took off from North Carolina, en route for Jamestown Airport, according to Sheriff James Quattrone.
The victims have been identified as Alan Fuller, Valerie Holmes and Linda Edwards. All three were from Northern Pennsylvania. The Sheriff told reporters that victims included the pilot, his sister, and a family-friend.
At least 125 people, including members of at least four police agencies and 13 volunteer fire companies, had been searching for the plane since Sunday night. It had been scheduled to land in Jamestown earlier in the day.
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office received a report of a missing plane at around 6 p.m. Sunday evening.
The search was paused around midnight on Monday due to snow in the area, which made it difficult for crews. It resumed on Monday morning, and the plane was located shortly after.
Much of the terrain near the Jamestown Airport contains steep hills, swamp land and ravines.
People who live near the airport told Reporter Ed Reilly that there was heavy snowfall, gusty winds, and limited visibility when the plane went down on Sunday evening.
According to data posted on Flightaware.com, the plane was making its final approach to Jamestown Airport and was descending under 2,000 feet at 105 mph when it lost contact about one mile east of the runway at 5:48 pm.
The FAA issued the following statement about the crash:
"A twin-engine Grumman American GA-7 crashed approximately one mile east of the Chautauqua County Jamestown Airport in Jamestown, N.Y., yesterday at approximately 6 p.m. local time. Three persons were aboard the aircraft. Please contact local officials for their names and medical conditions. The FAA and NTSB will investigate. Neither agency identifies people involved in aircraft accidents. The FAA will release the aircraft tail number once investigators verify it at the scene. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and all updates. The flight departed from Burlington Alamance Regional Airport in Burlington, N.C. and was enroute to Jamestown Airport."
It is unknown if the plane carried the proper de-icing boots on the wings and propeller.