Two dead pilots identified in Slidell plane crash
SLIDELL - The two men killed in a St. Tammany Parish Mosquito plane crash Tuesday night near the Slidell Airport has been identified.
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office said that 68-year-old Wayne Fisher of Slidell and 59-year-old Donald Pechon of Convington was identified as the pilots in the crash.
Sheriff Jack Strain today issued the following statement regarding Capt. Fisher’s passing:
“Wayne’s passion for flying was evident in everything he did, especially his work with our agency. Every time he flew with us it was for the good of our parish, whether to locate a missing person or a lost hunter, or to protect our residents from a danger on the ground. From his time as a pilot in Vietnam through his years with the Sheriff’s office, Wayne lived doing what he loved and we will miss him terribly. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Kim, and the entire Fisher family.”
Around 9:20 Tuesday night, Slidell Police, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and the St. Tammany Fire District One responded to the plane crash at the Slidell City Airport.
Two St. Tammany Parish Mosquito planes were landing after spraying areas. The pilot of one of the planes witnessed the crash.
According to Slidell PD, he stated that during the landing, for unknown reasons, the other plane rolled upside down and crashed into the wood line. The pilot who landed called for help and tried to get back to the crash site.
The crash site was engulfed in flames and hard to access, according to Slidell PD. Helicopters with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and Acadian Ambulance surveyed the scene while first responders with Slidell PD, STPSO, and STFD1 used off-road vehicles in order to reach the crash site.
Two pilots were inside of the plane and did not survive the crash, according to Slidell PD.
As of Wednesday morning, crews with the City of Slidell are working on clearing the area in order for the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office to retrieve the bodies.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are in charge of the investigation of the crash.
The identities of the two pilots will be released by the coroner’s office once the family has been notified.
"This is a very unfortunate accident and our prayers are with the families of the two pilots who perished in the crash," Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith said.
"I would like to compliment the massive effort last night by all first responders who attempted rescue efforts. The conditions were extremely dangerous and not easy to navigate."
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