Workers reach plane that crashed en route to air convention

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 10, 2011 7:53 PM

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Search and rescue workers battled treacherous mountain terrain on Sunday to recover the bodies of a father and son whose small plane crashed while on the way to an aviation conference, authorities said.

The father and son were feared missing when their plane never reached the air convention in Arlington, Washington, about 50 miles north of Seattle, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Mike Fergus said.

Their Piper PA 22 single-engine, fixed-wing plane crashed on Friday in the remote Cascade Mountains, and its wreckage was found a day later, he said.

Authorities had suspended the recovery effort on Saturday when they determined the crash site was accessible only by air or a 5-mile hike through a "treacherous mountain area," Snohomish County Sheriff's Office spokesman Rob Palmer said.

Workers had to be airlifted into the remote Cascade Mountain crash site on Sunday,

"There was every indication that they were immediately killed in the crash," Palmer said, but added that medical examiners were working to determine official cause of death.

The father and son were residents of Deer Park, Washington, a town of about 3,500 residents north of Spokane in Eastern Washington.

(Reporting by Laura Myers in Seattle; Writing and additional reporting by Eric Johnson in Chicago; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)