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Arizona Plane Crash

November 24, 2011 by staff 

Arizona Plane Crash, A small plane crashed into mountain near Phoenix on Wednesday evening, killing six people, authorities said.
Elias Johnson, a spokesman for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, said a tire found at the scene in the Superstition Mountains east of Apache Junction was consistent with a twin-engine aircraft.

Emergency crews were struggling through rugged terrain to reach the crash site.

Johnson said it appeared the plane had disintegrated.

Allen Kinitzer of the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that the plane was a twin-engine Rockwell AC69 that had just departed Mesa’s Falcon Field. The plane was registered to Ponderosa Aviation Inc. of Safford.

Ponderosa declined comment Wednesday night, saying it was not yet prepared to discuss the incident.

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

Witnesses reported a fiery mushroom cloud when the plane flew into the side of the mountains.

Carla Machajewski of Apache Junction, who lives at the base of the Superstitions, said she saw two small planes flying around the mountains.

“The one little plane kept going straight and the other one turned and came back and disappeared for a minute. All of a sudden, it hit.”

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