Six people, including three members of an Indiana family and a German exchange student, were killed on Friday when their small plane plowed into a line of trees after an aborted landing at a northern Virginia airport, authorities said on Saturday.
The twin-engine aircraft, identified as a 1969-model Beech 95-B55, crashed at the edge of Shannon Airport outside Fredericksburg, about 55 miles southwest of Washington, D.C.
The plane touched down halfway along the runway, pulled up and executed a maneuver known as a “go-round,” but the engines appeared to stall as the pilot tried to turn and climb, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said in a statement.
“The plane banked left, crashed in the trees and immediately caught fire,” Geller said. She said the crash occurred at 12:24 p.m. (12:24 p.m. EDT).
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the state police, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration. Representatives of the NTSB and the FAA could not be reached on Saturday.
Six bodies were recovered from the wreckage including the remains of the pilot, William Hamerstadt, 64, of Carmel, Indiana, and the plane’s owner, Robert D. Ross, 73, of Louisville, Kentucky.
The four other passengers were Lisa Borinstein, 52, of Shelbyville, Indiana; her son Luke, 19; her daughter Emma, 15; and Maren Timmermann, 15, an exchange student from Berlin, according to a statement from the Northwestern Consolidated Schools of Shelby County.
Emma Borinstein and Timmerman were students at the district’s Triton Central High School, the statement said.
Luke Borinstein was a sophomore at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, the school said.
The flight departed from Louisville on Friday morning en route to Shannon with an initial stop in Shelbyville, state police said.