Aurora Flight Instructor Dies in Plane Crash

Sunday, Sep 26, 2010  |  Updated 9:00 AM CDT
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Aurora Flight Instructor Dies in Plane Crash

The wreckage of Kevin McCabe's plane was found in the Trout River in northern Wisconsin.

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Authorities have identified the two victims who were killed when a small airplane out of Aurora crashed in northern Wisconsin.

Kevin McCabe, 26, of LaGrange and his uncle, Pierce McCabe, 68, of Hinsdale, were identified as the two victims who died in the plane crash, said Vilas County Sheriff Lt. Jeff Schaub in a press release.

Kevin McCabe worked as a flight instructor at the Illinois Aviation Academy, which posted a message about his death on their Web site.

"Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends for the loss of one so special and yet so young and we hope that they will take comfort from the wonderful memories of his life and the love of aviation that brought him into many of our lives. Our hearts and sympathies are with you through this trying time," the message said.

Pierce McCabe was a former Cicero school principal, and also served as the village president of Brookfield in the late 1980's.

"He really cared.  He was a servant of students and the community, and of the parents, and his staff members, too," said Donna Adamic, the District 99 superintendent.

 The airplane took off from the Aurora Municipal Airport Thursday night and was flying to Lakeland Airport in Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin, Schaub said. 

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Elizabeth Isham Cory said the twin-engine plane was found Friday in a river five miles north of the Minocqua-Woodruff Airport. Minocqua is about 330 miles north of the Aurora airport, near Wisconsin's border with the Michigan peninsula.

A ground search team located a radio signal that was believed to becoming from the missing airplane, which was found in the Trout River at 11:19 a.m. Friday, said Vilas County Sheriff Captain John Butler in a press release.

The crash site was approached by boat and it was discovered that the occupants died after being ejected from the plane, Butler said. The bodies were recovered by the Vilas County Coroner’s office.

Ground search teams from the Civil Air Patrol, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Lac du Flambeau Police Department and the Vilas County Sheriff’s department assisted in efforts to locate the plane, Butler said.

According to the Vilas County Sheriff's Department, at 8:30 p.m. Thursday police received a call from the FAA about an overdue plane carrying two people.

The FAA said the plane had left the Aurora Municipal Airport about 6 p.m. Thursday but it lost radio contact with the plane near Minocqua.

The Vilas County Sheriff’s department, the National Transportation Safety Bureau, the Federal Aviation Agency and the Vilas County Coroner’s office are investigating.

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