ELLICOTT – The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office has identified the three people who were killed in a plane crash Sunday night near the Chautauqua County Airport.
Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone says the three, Alan Fuller, Valerie Holmes and Linda Edwards, all knew each other. The three occupants resided in Northern Pennsylvania.
Fuller was the pilot of the plane, according to Quattrone.
All bodies remain at the scene pending approval from the FAA for removal, according to the Sheriff. He says that the families of the deceased were notified.
Quattrone says that he suspects the weather played a “major part” of the crash. The FAA is expected to return Monday to conduct its investigation of the crash.
The aircraft, Quattrone said, was traveling from North Carolina to Jamestown when air traffic control lost communication with the plane around 5:50 p.m. just east of the tarmac, where the plane is believed to have crashed.
Blowing snow had caused visibility issues throughout the late afternoon and early evening in the Jamestown area.
The plane is registered as a Grumman GA7 with registration N791GA.
The Aviation Safety Network reports the aircraft, with three occupants onboard, impacted the terrain in Chautauqua County while on approach from the east to Chautauqua County/Jamestown Airport.
The latest information lists the plane as owned by Chautauqua Aircraft Sales, Inc., of Dunkirk.
Quattrone says 13 volunteer fire departments, four police agencies and the county’s CAST team were looking for the plane. A State Police helicopter joined the search this morning.
As first reported by WNY News Now, several law enforcement agencies and fire departments started searching near the Fluvanna Fire Department’s Station II on the Chautauqua County Jamestown Airport grounds around 7:30 p.m.
Quattrone says several resources, including a drone, searched east and southeast of the airport.