Investigators have learned that a 1984 Piper PA-46-310P, registered to Park City Aviation LLC from Park City, Utah was piloted by Mark Gregory Aletky, 67, from Acton, California. The plane is a single-engine, six-seat plane, and was based out of Van Nuys, California. The plane left Van Nuys yesterday at approximately 7:22 a.m., enroute to Eugene, Oregon.
Aletky was hired by Park City Aviation for the flight and was a certificated pilot.
Investigators learned the plane was flying on instrument and was approaching the Eugene Airport. Witnesses in Harrisburg described seeing the plane flying north at a low altitude when, for unknown reasons, it suddenly turned and crashed into a grass field just west of Peoria Road, which is approximately two miles north of Harrisburg. It is unknown at this time why the plane continued north past the Eugene Airport.
The Linn County Sheriff’s Office 9-1-1 Center received the call at 10:53 a.m.
It was discovered that John A. Zitting, 42, hired Aletky to fly him, his wife and their son, to Eugene. John Zitting was found in the front passenger seat. Seated behind the pilot was Zitting’s spouse, Karen Blackmore Zitting, 37, and their son, John Brendan Zitting, 17, was seated behind his father. The Zitting family is from Thousand Oaks, California.
All occupants of the plane died in the crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) arrived on scene yesterday at 4:40 p.m. to assist with the investigation. Linn County Sheriff deputies were also assisted by the Harrisburg Fire Department.
The wreckage is scheduled to be removed this weekend.
Autopsies on Aletky and John Zitting are being conducted today and the investigation is on-going as to the cause of the crash.
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