2 passengers were killed in the small plane crash of Waukesha; identified victims

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WAukesha, Wisconsin — Both passengers of a small plane that crashed in Waukesha Village on Tuesday have been declared dead by the authorities.

Family members identified the victims as 74-year-old Randy and 70-year-old Susie Reimer. They just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.



Randy and Susie Reimer

Investigators currently do not know what caused the crash. The family told us that they plan to return to New Mexico after visiting their families in Wisconsin.

The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that the first responders were called to the area around 9:41 am because of reports of loud noise and possible debris.

The Milwaukee approach control tower also reported that they had lost radio and radar communication with an aircraft.

Delegates searched the area and found the aircraft in a wooded area south of Redwing Drive. There, they confirmed the deaths of the pilot and passengers of the plane. The sheriff’s office said that no one else was injured in the crash.

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The wreckage of the crash.

TMJ4 News learned from records that the aircraft was a fixed-wing single-engine Glastar with two seats. This is an amateur construction, and the pilots assembled most of the aircraft.

The aircraft’s last flight was from New Mexico to Texas and from Texas to Kansas City. The plane was flying to Salina, Kansas when it crashed in Waukesha County.

TMJ4 News interviewed pilot Dick Knapinski. He said that the aircraft has a good safety record. Knapinski said: “A very stable design, a very robust design, many have been successfully built and flown.”

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The wreckage of the crash.

David Eicher has lived in Waukesha Village and this particular community for 30 years.

When he was frightened, he was writing an article on the computer at home.

“I spent an ordinary morning studying stories about space, and heard pops that I thought were strange,” Eichel said. “I thought of heavy trucks hitting violently or even trucks colliding, but there is no evidence of this.”

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David Eichel

Eichel said that he didn’t know that a small plane had crashed until he walked outside and asked the police what had happened.

â <"Across the street on my side, there are a few houses, which seem to have a small part of the fuselage," Eichel said. "For the small town and related families here, this is a shocking, terrifying and very sad day."

Eicher told us that he often heard small planes flying over his home, but he never thought that such a big thing would happen.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the incident.

NTSB’s online database shows that the commission investigated 21 aviation accidents in Wisconsin this year, 4 of which were fatal.

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Big Bend Village Police Department, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the Waukesha Village and Vernon Fire Department.

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Flight awareness

Audio between pilot and dispatch

TMJ4 News obtained recordings of conversations between pilot Randy Reimer and the air traffic dispatcher.

The pilot and dispatcher checked each other in the first two minutes.

Soon after, Reimer told the dispatcher to “wait a minute” because his audio kept coming in and out. He tried to tell them where he was flying.

Dispatch then told him “We can hardly hear you.” He kept asking the pilot where he was.

Reimer finally said, “I can hear you now.”

About a minute later, Reimer told the dispatcher, “We must climb the mountain. I hope to climb the clouds.”

Reimer then told the dispatcher, “My destination is Selena, Kansas.” This will be the last time they hear from him.

Then, the dispatcher asked him if he could reach the destination. He said something like “Or do you need it?” but then it was cut off and said something inaudible.

Nearly four minutes into the recording, the dispatcher said, “The radar contact has been interrupted.”

The dispatcher asked another dispatcher to try to contact the plane or see if they could see him on the radar.

Another dispatcher told the original dispatcher, “They didn’t respond.”

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