An investigation into the cause of a plane crash near Prescott that killed two men Friday was expected to take 12 to 18 months, federal investigators said.
Authorities on Sunday identified the victims as Spencer Kihlstrom, 19, and Jeremiah Linnertz, 19, both of Chino Valley.
Medical records for the pilot, maintenance records, any radar data and, if available, air-traffic-control communications were some of the information being collected for the investigation, said Holloway Keith, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board.
According to the NTSB, the aircraft wreckage will be moved to a secure facility for further examination within the next few days.
Both bodies were recovered in rugged terrain Sunday.
Kihlstrom was a student at Yavapai Community College and an avid fan of aviation, and Linnertz was a father of two young children.
“They both were just amazing friends and whenever you were down, they would always be there to help you talk it out,” said Isaac Gray, a friend of both Kihlstrom and Linnertz. “Such smart, hard-working, enthusiastic people that deserved so much more than what has happened.”
The aircraft was a Cessna 172. According to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, officials were notified Saturday morning of a single-engine Cessna that had been missing for at least 24 hours.
A search was initiated. Just before 1 p.m. Saturday, the Sheriff’s Office’s rescue helicopter located the plane, with the help of cellphone tracking and the plane’s emergency transmitter, near Perkinsville Ranch several miles east of Paulden.
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