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Single-engine aircraft that crashed left from Elk airstrip

Sun., July 10, 2011

A single-engine airplane that took off Friday from an airstrip north of Spokane crashed in Western Washington, killing two people aboard, authorities confirmed Saturday.

The deceased are believed to be a father and son from the Deer Park area, said Lt. Rob Palmer of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. The bodies had not been recovered Saturday from the wreckage, he said.

The Piper PA 22 took off from the Elk Heights airstrip about 5:10 p.m. Friday and was due to land in Arlington, Wash., by 8 p.m. A friend of the pilot notified the state Department of Transportation Aviation Division about 8 a.m. Saturday that the aircraft had not shown up.

Federal Aviation Administration records show that the Elk airstrip is owned by Matthew and Nanine Annis, and that Matthew Annis owns a 1953 Piper PA 22.

Radar showed the plane’s last known location as a rugged, mountainous area south of Liberty Mountain in the Cascades. Naval search and rescue units were deployed to the area, where they discovered the wreckage about 2 p.m. Saturday.

“They were able to lower a rescuer down to the wreckage and he confirmed there aren’t any survivors,” Palmer said. Recovery efforts were called off for the night due to darkness and the rugged terrain.

There was no immediate indication what may have caused the crash, Palmer said.

“Right now, there’s nothing but all kinds of possibilities,” he said.

The National Transportation Safety Board and FAA are investigating.

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