The worst possible news.
This from Saturday’s Minneapolis - St. Paul Star Tribune:
April 14, 2001
Three dead found in wreckage of plane bound for Wisconsin
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – Three bodies were found Saturday in the wreckage of a small plane missing since Tuesday on a flight to Milwaukee, authorities said.
The single-engine Cirrus CR20 was destroyed on impact and burned after the crash in a mountainous area 30 miles east of Tucson, said Jerry Johnston, regional operations officer for the Federal Aviation Administration in Lawndale, Calif.
Johnston said three bodies were recovered at the crash scene but their identities were being withheld until relatives could be notified.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Saturday night on its Web site that the plane was piloted by Douglas Koehler of Mequon. Family members said Koehler, his brother Rodney Koehler of Appleton and Rodney Koehler’ s 17-year-old son, Christopher, were on the missing plane.
The plane left Tucson for General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee. It stopped in Albuquerque, N.M., shortly after taking off but was not heard from again, the FAA said.
The Arizona Civil Air Patrol search crew spotted the wreckage about noon Saturday, and some numbers on the plane were still intact to identify it as the missing craft, Johnston said.
The three were returning to Wisconsin after visiting family members and colleges in Tucson.
Douglas Koehler was described as an experienced pilot by Eric Whyte, who works at the Capitol Drive Airport in the Town of Brookfield where Koehler stored his plane.
“Doug had a personality that was this big and just a really neat guy, a lot of fun to be around,” he said.