2 killed in plane crash near I-17 outside Flagstaff FLAGSTAFF, AZ -- Two people who died when a small plane crashed in northern Arizona Friday morning have been tentatively identified.
Frank Protiva, 47, and 58-year-old Thomas Moody, both of Flagstaff, were believed killed in the crash.
Gerry Blair from the Coconino County Sheriff's Office said the plane crashed eight miles south of Flagstaff Airport, just west of Interstate 17, around 7 a.m.
Officials received a call from a DPS Commander who was driving south on the Interstate in the area of Newman Park when he apparently observed a small aircraft that appeared to be experiencing engine problems.
Audio tapes from FlagScanner.com recorded that message.
The DPS Commander said he heard the engine sputtering, watched as the aircraft struck a tree, then heard the loud sound of a collision.
The DPS Commander initiated a ground search and was reportedly aided by Coconino County Sheriff's Deputies and other responding public safety agencies.
Federal Aviation Administration officials said the plane is a Cessna 210.
The crash will be investigated by the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board.
The plane was apparently owned by Protiva and the identifying tail number matches the plane to one that left the airport earlier in the morning, according to Blair.
Coconino County Sheriff's Detectives said they have learned that Mr. Protiva and Mr. Moody planned to fly out of Flagstaff Friday morning with a destination of Yuma, Arizona.
Click to view image: 'pic of crash scene'
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