Family of 4 killed in Arizona plane crash

Family of 4 killed in Arizona plane crash

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PHOENIX — Two adults and two girls killed when their small plane bound for Telluride, Colo., crashed near Payson have been identified as a Scottsdale-based attorney and his family, multiple sources say.

The Cessna 210 crashed with four people on board: a 31-year-old woman; her 44-year-old husband; and the husband’s 12- and 14-year-old daughters from a previous marriage, according to a Scottsdale police report.

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office verified that the plane’s tail number matched FAA records identifying the owner as Eric Falbe of Scottsdale. Falbe’s law partner, Michael Maleson, confirmed that Falbe was aboard the downed plane, as was his wife, Carrie Falbe, and his two daughters.

“For those that worked with Eric, he will be remembered as a truly exceptional businessman and lawyer,” Maledon said in an email.

“But beyond Eric’s professional accomplishments, Eric and Carrie will be remembered for their passion for life and warmth toward others.”

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office received a call about 9:48 p.m. Monday from the Scottsdale Police Department saying a plane flying from Scottsdale to Telluride was reported overdue, according to Sarah White, chief administrative officer for the Sheriff’s Office.

Carrie Falbe’s father, who called Scottsdale police at about 9:30 p.m. Said he was  concerned because the family had taken the trip in years past and always texted or called him when they got in safe, the police report said. He said he texted and called all the family members and heard nothing, police reported.

Police reached out to a variety of airports and learned that the plane had not landed at those places, the police report said.

Deputies, with help from the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Ranger helicopter and the Air Force Civil Air Patrol.  Pinged a cellphone and located the plane northwest of Washington Park, an area about 14 miles north of Payson, White said.

A helicopter search began about 2 a.m., and the plane was found about 4:50 a.m. in an area with dense trees and hills, police reported. Initially, three members of the family were found dead, and deputies later located the fourth body, White said.

The plane crashed under unknown circumstances, according to Ian Gregor, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman.

A review of radar information later showed that the plane ascended in Scottsdale and then descended quickly in the Payson area near where the phone was pinged, police reported.

The crash will be investigated by the Sheriff’s Office, the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Meanwhile, officials are investigating two other plane crashes that occurred over the past few days.

Four people from Iowa were killed when a single-engine Piper aircraft crashed in Illinois on New Year’s Eve.

The crash killed pilot Curt Terpstra, 34, of Pella, and passengers Jordan Linder, 35, of Keswick, Jasmine Linder, 26, of Barnes City, and Krista Green, 37, of Altoona. The Linders were siblings.

Family members said the passengers were on their way to Nashville to celebrate the new year. A National Transportation Safety Board official said a report on the crash investigation should be complete in seven to 10 days.

And in Cleveland, officials said Tuesday they are continuing to search for a Cessna Citation jet that disappeared last week over Lake Erie with six people aboard.

A business executive was piloting the plane carrying his wife, two sons and two neighbors, including a University of Wisconsin student.

Contributing: The Des Moines Register; WKYC-TV, Cleveland

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