SNOHOMISH — Four crew members have been identified after they died in a plane crash near Snohomish during a test flight.
The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office publicly released their names as well as causes and manners of death Wednesday afternoon.
They were Scott Brenneman, 52, of Roy, in Pierce County; Nate Lachendro, 49, of Gig Harbor; Nathan Precup, 33, of Seattle; and David Newton, 67, of Wichita, Kansas. They all died of blunt-force injuries, according to the medical examiner’s office.
For over 20 years, Lachendro was engineering program manager at Raisbeck Engineering, the Seattle company leasing the plane, according to his LinkedIn profile. His death was lamented on a forum for Porsche owners.
“Many of us have been honored to have met and become friends with Nate, many more than myself,” one user wrote. “I’m devastated. I can only imagine those closer to him will feel an even greater loss.”
Another said he “truly was the kindest human being I’ve ever met.”
On his website, Precup noted he had a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the University of Washington. He notes he left his job as a flight test engineer to do something else: working on telescopes in the Arctic.
“It is not hard to get me excited about the world around me, there is inspiration around every corner,” Precup wrote, noting he enjoyed hiking, climbing and sailing.
He wrote that he was a few flight hours away from getting a private pilot certificate, an achievement that was a top priority when he returned from the Arctic.
The Cessna 208B had been maneuvering near Harvey Field Airport on Friday when it suddenly crashed into a field near U.S. 2 and 100th Street SE. The crew was collecting baseline aircraft performance data in preparation for making modifications, according to Raisbeck Engineering.
A spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board said Monday the plane’s right wing fell off on the morning flight from Renton. Investigators found the wing about 200 yards away from the plane’s fuselage.
The wreckage has been recovered and will stay at a secure facility for reconstruction, according to the NTSB.
A preliminary report is expected in two to three weeks. The final report, which would identify the probable cause for the crash, could take one to two years.
On Monday, investigators were collecting maintenance records for the plane and information about the pilots, including their licenses, ratings and histories. In a statement, Raisbeck Engineering’s president said the plane was under the command of two “highly-experienced test pilots, both with over 10,000 flight hours.” The other crew members were a flight test director and instrumentation engineer. It was unclear who was responsible for which task on the plane. Due to the investigation, the company declined to disclose any further information.
“All the members of the Raisbeck family are devastated by this tragic accident,” read the statement released over the weekend. “And while Raisbeck feels this loss deeply, we cannot begin to imagine the loss and pain of the families and other loved ones of these crew members.”