COPAKE—Investigators working to uncover clues at the mountainside crash site of a small plane near the Catamount Ski Area, found the body of a second crash victim in the wreckage, Saturday, November 13.
The dead have been identified as pilot John Welsh, 64, of Concord, New Hampshire and his passenger, Margaret “Peggy” Noonan, 63, of West Stockbridge, Massachusetts, according to a press release from Columbia County Sheriff David W. Harrison, Jr.
Investigator Bob Gretz from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), said the plane went down at about 7:50 p.m. the night of November 10. The last communication from the plane was with the Albany International Airport shortly before that time. The contact was routine and no distress call was ever received.
The plane, a single-engine, four-seat, Mooney, was en route from Pennsylvania to Great Barrington, Mass. It appears that the plane initially struck the top of trees on the top of the mountain causing it to crash. Both the pilot and passenger were killed on impact. Family members of both have been notified.
A hunter discovered the charred wreckage of the plane crash late the morning of Friday, November 12 in a mountainous, forested area about 100 feet from the Massachusetts border. At first, just one body was believed to be inside.
The wreckage of the small aircraft was upside down, burned and broken into pieces.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is investigating along with the NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration.
The crash scene is in a hard-to-access area, and investigators rode all-terrain-vehicles to get there and then used machetes and chainsaws to clear a path to the wreckage.