By Shereen Siewert
An investigative team with the National Transportation Safety Board is continuing to probe the crash of a twin-engine aircraft that left three people dead, including the pilot.
Authorities have not publicly released the names of the victims who died in Wednesday’s crash, but university officials say Dominik Faciano, a May graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s aviation program, was among the dead. Mike Burgener, interim director of SIU’s School of Aviation, said Faciano was a passenger on the plane.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration registry, the tail number of the aircraft showed the plane registered to the Surdex Corporation of Chesterfield, Missouri. Surdex is a mapping and data services provider.
Faciano’s personal Facebook page lists him as a survey pilot/operator for Surdex Corporation. He lived in St. Louis.
FAA officials say the Rockwell 690 Turbo Command crashed about 12 miles east of the Eagle River Union Airport Wednesday morning.
Investigators will comb through the wreckage and examine the flight and medical records of the pilot. They will also consider weather conditions at the time of the crash and interview witnesses who saw or heard the crash – all part of the investigative process, which can take as long as two years to complete.
Officials say the plane departed at about 8:45 a.m. Tuesday from the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport. About 15 minutes later the flight rapidly lost altitude, according to FlightAware, which tracks flights. FlightAware shows the plane’s route ended near Eagle River.
Air traffic controllers in Minneapolis, who guide airplanes throughout the entire northern Wisconsin region, sounded the alert at about 9:30 a.m. that an aircraft was missing, prompting Rhinelander airport officials to dispatch a DNR airplane and LifeLink helicopter to the area.
The wreckage was discovered in a swamp near the Franklin Lake Campground in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.