Aviation

Fiery crash that killed 4 north of Seattle was test flight on plane leased from Alaska company

All four crew members were killed when their plane leased from an Alaska-based company crashed during a test flight in Washington, officials said.

The single-engine plane was engulfed in flames after it crashed in a field around 9:30 a.m. near Harvey Field Airport in Snohomish County on Friday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and KIRO-TV.

Raisbeck Engineering was leasing the Cessna Grand Caravan 208B EX from Copper Mountain Aviation to collect “baseline aircraft performance data,” according to a statement from Raisbeck’s president, Hal Chrisman.

“The aircraft was in this initial testing phase and had not yet been modified in any way by Raisbeck,” Chrisman said.

The crew included “two highly experienced test pilots” who both had over 10,000 flight hours, a flight test director and an instrumentation engineer, according to the statement.

One person saw the plane crash from his kitchen window, KING-TV reported.

“I had just witnessed a plane catastrophe of some sort, this plane is coming down and it comes spiraling down,” Ken Baxter told the news outlet.

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The plane crashed into a field in an area with rough terrain, vegetation and irrigation canals that made it “difficult to access,” fire officials told KIRO-TV.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

The medical examiner will identify the four people.

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