Pilot from Acton dies in plane crash

Four victims died after a plane crashed in a field near Harrisburg Oregon. Courtesy photo of Linn County Sheriff's office
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A local pilot from Acton and a family from Thousand Oaks have been identified as victims of a deadly plane crash that took place on Friday about two miles north of Harrisburg, Oregon.

George Aletky, 67, from Acton has been identified as the pilot of the plane.

Aletky was hired by John Zitting, 42, to fly him, his wife, Karen Zitting, 37, and their son, Brendan Zitting, 17, from Van Nuys, California to Eugene, Oregon, according to a press release.

The plane crashed into a grass field approximately two miles north of Harrisburg before 11 a.m. on Friday.

All occupants of the aircraft died in the crash.

The call for the crash went out to officials at 10:53 a.m.

A man identifying himself as Loren Later called 911 after the collision.

“A small aircraft just crashed into a field,” Later said during the call.

During the 911 recording, Later investigates the aircraft with other witnesses, reporting back to the dispatcher that the occupants of the plane were unconscious and without a pulse.

“Four people, no pulse,” Later said.

“No one appears to be alive.”

The six-seat plane was a single-engine, 1984 Piper PA-46-310P and took off from Van Nuys at approximately 7:22 a.m. on Friday.

“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,” the press release stated.

“It is unknown at this time why the plane continued north past the Eugene Airport.”

According to the release, the investigation of the incident is still on-going.

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