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Bodies Recovered in Cape Cod Plane Crash

August 27, 2003

YARMOUTH, Mass. (AP) _ The bodies of two pilots whose commuter plane crashed off Cape Cod have been recovered, authorities said Wednesday.

The Colgan Air plane, which was not carrying passengers, crashed Tuesday afternoon. The two pilots had reported an emergency shortly after takeoff but were unable to bring the plane back to Hyannis Airport, authorities said.

``It’s our understanding that the bodies were recovered after 9 p.m. last evening, and have been transported to Boston″ to the state medical examiner’s office, airline spokeswoman Mary Finnigan said early Wednesday morning.

Crews worked Wednesday to bring the plane out of the water. Yarmouth Police Chief Peter Carnes would not say if the plane’s flight data recorder had been recovered.

``I can’t really speculate on what caused the crash,″ Finnigan said. ``We’re cooperating fully. We’re devastated by the loss of our friends and crew members.″

The airline identified the pilots as Capt. Scott Knabe, 39, of Cincinnati, and First Officer Steven Dean, 38, of Euless, Texas.

The pilots were on a routine flight to return the plane from Hyannis to the airport in Albany, N.Y., Finnigan said. Colgan Air, based in Manassas, Va., is a carrier for US Airways Express that serves Cape Cod.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane crashed about 250 yards from shore in 14 to 23 feet of water. The plane was a Beechcraft 1900D, a 19-seater.

Eyewitness Peter Joselow said it was obvious that something was wrong with the aircraft.

``It looked like it was veering very quickly to the left to come back to the airport, but it kept getting lower and lower and lower,″ said the Ossining, N.Y., resident who summers in Yarmouth. ``It went behind the tree line and the next thing we saw was a huge plume of water twice as high as the trees.″

Joel Finley, who was in a plane scheduled to take off directly after the Beechcraft, said he saw the plane’s tail flutter shortly after takeoff. He said he heard the pilot say in radio transmissions with the control tower that he had lost ``trim.″ The trim on the plane’s tail helps it stay level, he said.

``He banked left and we lost sight of him. We were listening to the whole thing on the radio. We heard the tower say he fell off the radar screen,″ Finley said.

The FAA said it lost radio contact at 3:38 p.m. EDT.

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On the Net:

Colgan Air: http://www.colganair.com/

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