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Preliminary report released for plane crash that killed owners of Heise Hot Springs

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From left: Robin and Mike Quinn were killed in a plane crash near Jackpot, Nevada last November. | Facebook photo

JACKPOT, Nevada — Investigators say a man witnessed the plane crash that killed an eastern Idaho couple near Jackpot, Nevada, in November.

RELATED | Eastern Idaho couple dies in plane crash near Jackpot, Nevada

The Grumman AA-5B Tiger crashed shortly after takeoff around 5:40 p.m. on Nov. 22. Mike and Robin Quinn, the owners of Heise Hot Springs, were traveling back to the Rexburg airport and were killed on impact, according to the preliminary report released this month by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The same report says the man who witnessed the crash lived in a home next to the Jackpot airport.

“He observed the airplane lift off from the runway and begin an immediate turn to the left,” the preliminary report reads “In his experience watching airplanes depart from this airport, the airplane was at an unusually low altitude when it began the turn.”

The man looked away as the plane turned. He immediately heard a loud explosion. The NTSB says after he heard the noise, he looked back at the airport and saw a fire.

Read the NTSB Preliminary Report

First responders rushed to the crash. Sgt. Nick Czegledi with Elko County, Nevada, Sheriff’s Office told EastIdahoNews.com in November that crashes like this are a common occurrence at the airport.

The wreckage of the crash sat in a hayfield a quarter-mile from the airport. The NTSB says all major components of the airplane were found at the site, fragmented and consumed by a post-crash fire.

RELATED | Funeral services planned for Heise couple killed in plane crash

The initial impact of the airplane left an 18 inch-long by 36 inch-wide mark in the ground, as well as a 276-foot-long debris path.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

The NTSB, who has not identified the pilot, says the pilot had a commercial pilot’s license. Family members said Mike Quinn had been a pilot for 40 years, and the couple frequently traveled to Jackpot for a night of dinner and entertainment.

The crash killing the Quinns was not the only crash to affect eastern Idaho in November. On Nov. 30, a Pilatus PC-12 carrying 12 members of the Hansen family crashed in Chamberlain, South Dakota. The crash killed nine, comprising of several generations of the family. The NTSB is also looking into that crash.

Investigators expect to complete the final reports for both crashes within one to two years.

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