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Arizona plane crash: Mother of 3 children killed is notified

November 24, 2011 |  7:24 am

Site of Arizona plane crash. All six aboard believed killed.
Three children "going to spend time at the holiday with their father" were among six killed in a plane crash Wednesday night in Arizona, authorities said.

Elias Johnson with the Pinal County Sheriff's Department spoke to the Los Angeles Times from the scene of the crash on Thanksgiving morning.

"Six people -- three children, two of them boys and one girl" were killed, Johnson said. Three of those aboard were adult men.

The mother of the children lives in Arizona's Pinal County, where the crash took place in a mountainous area near Flatiron.  "I personally made a visit and notification" to the mother "with the information we had late last night."

"The mother is a pilot herself," Johnson said. "She understands when a plane crashes at 230 miles an hour ... directly into the face of the mountain ... and when it's a fiery crash" there's little hope of survivors. "So she understood that."

Late Wednesday night, emergency crews had struggled to reach the crash site in the rugged Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix. A 12-person rescue crew began hiking to the site about 9 p.m., a Sheriff's Department official said.

The plane, a twin-engine Rockwell AC69, had taken off from Falcon Field Airport in Mesa, authorities said. Its registered owner is Ponderosa Aviation Inc. of Safford, Ariz., according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

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

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-- Amy Hubbard

Photo: A fire burns Wednesday night at the scene of a plane crash in the Superstition Mountains in Arizona. Credit: Tim Hacker / East Valley Tribune

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