Victims identified after aircraft crashes into Rock River in Jefferson County

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Wis. -- Authorities have identified the two people who died after an aircraft crashed into the Rock River in Jefferson County Tuesday night. 
 
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says 51-year-old David Plambeck from Edgerton and 16-year-old Max Burlingame from Fort Atkinson were pronounced dead Wednesday morning by the Jefferson County Medical Examiner's Office.
 
Chief Deputy Jeffrey Parker, of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, said no information was available yet regarding the relationship between the two passengers. 
 
The aircraft, a Pegasus Quantum Light Sport Aircraft, crashed into the river at 8:05 p.m. It is registered to Plambeck.
Parker said the aircraft took off from the Fort Atkinson Airport.
 
Because the aircraft landed in the river for unknown reasons, the FAA has been called to investigate the cause of the crash.
 
A spokeswoman with the FAA says the NTSB is likely taking the lead on the investigation, and it could take anywhere from 12 to 16 months to complete.
 
Jefferson County's Dive Team, which removed the boat from the water, could be seen making its way out to the crash site about 9:00 a.m. Wednesday.
 
Neighbors in the area said the plane crash left them stunned. 
 
"That was really crazy to see," said Sheryl Spooner. "It was almost unbelievable." 
 
Parker said people on a pontoon boat in the area at the time of the crash drove over and pulled the victims from the water. However, life-saving measures at the scene were unsuccessful.
 
Parker added that first responders reported other people in the area swimming out to the wreck to try and help the two people on board the aircraft.
 
"In a sense, it's heroic, when you people that come to the aid of others," Parker said. "It's a great sense of pride to have people in your community who will help others when they're in need." 
 
Emergency officials say the aircraft was almost completely submerged in the water when they arrived to the scene with the two victims reportedly to be unconscious.
 
According to the EAA, the aircraft is designed for personal flying and typically doesn't fly faster than 75 mph. The aircraft is classified as "experimental" with the FAA, meaning it's likely the current owner or a previous owner built the aircraft after getting a kit from the manufacturer.
 
Burlingame was a student in the Fort Atkinson School District. The superintendent there says grief counselors will be available at the high school from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday.

Stay with TODAY'S TMJ4 for further updates on this developing story.

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