Tragedy occurred in Northern Idaho recently when two small planes collided over a scenic mountain lake. At least eight people, including three children, died in the crash.
One plane was a float plane carrying five passengers, including the three children, along with the pilot. It was operated by Brooks Seaplane of Coeur d’Alene, a tourist charter company.
The other was a Cessna 206 carrying at least two people, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office.
The two planes struck one another in midair near Powderhorn Bay in Lake Coeur d’Alene, a large lake surrounded by vacation homes. The incident took place at about 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 5.
“We don’t anticipate any survivors,” said a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office. “We think everyone is deceased.”
According to the Associated Press, a Sheriff’s dive team discovered wreckage in approximately 125 feet (40 meters) of water. At press time, three bodies had been recovered.
Since the lake was busy with boaters that day, a number of personal watercraft arrived quickly on the scene to search for any survivors. The U.S. Coast Guard, the Sheriff’s marine teams, and fire departments also responded. Recreational boaters discovered the first two bodies on the surface of the lake and turned them over to the Coast Guard.
Witnesses described seeing the two airplanes fly towards one another and then colliding in mid-air. They then plunged hundreds of feet down into the lake. There, they sank fairly quickly, according to a witness.
The Sheriff’s dive team employed a remote-controlled robot submarine to recover at least one victim.
The sky didn’t seem especially busy that day. “We don’t have any clue what happened,” said the Sheriff’s spokesperson.
The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, the Sheriff’s Office confirmed.
The bodies of several victims have been located.
When two planes collide in the air, something terrible had to have gone wrong. It is unclear whether the pilots were operating on instruments.