Name of pilot in Pinal plane crash released - East Valley Tribune: News

Name of pilot in Pinal plane crash released

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Posted: Sunday, May 11, 2008 7:59 pm | Updated: 9:47 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The employer of a man who was one of two people killed in a plane crash Friday afternoon released his name Sunday.

2 pilots dead in crash of small plane near Q.C.

The crash, which happened Friday at about 1:20 p.m. in the Pinal County desert, involved an aircraft operated by pilot-in-command James Clapper, 57, and another pilot, according to the aviation company.

The identity of the other man had not been released as of Sunday.

The plane had been missing for about a half-hour when company officials located the wreckage of an Extra 300L model aircraft.

The crash happened about eight miles east of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, according to the company. "It is clear that numerous families were affected by this terrible tragedy," said Paul "BJ" Ransbury, president of Aviation Performance Solutions LLC. "Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with all of those who were involved in this tragic accident and their families."

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office did not have further information about the accident as of late Sunday.

"We don't know what caused this yet," Ransbury said.

Ransbury said Clapper was a training instructor. He said Clapper served six years in the U.S. Air Force flying F-4s, among other planes. He also served two years in the Kansas Air National Guard flying F-4s.

Clapper's family could not be reached for comment late Sunday.

The Federal Aviation Administration doesn't yet know why the plane crashed, according to authorities. There were no distress calls sent from the pilot. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident, authorities said.

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