Sun, Jul 06, 2003
Close Friend: Five Victims "Lived And Breathed Airplanes"
Coast Guard searchers have found the
wreckage of a Cessna technical, about two miles from the airport in
Sitka (AK). All five people on board were killed.
Pilot Michael Baker had reported difficulty with the aircraft's
cargo door, according to a Coast Guard spokesman. Baker told
ATC he was going to take a look at the door when he landed in Sitka
to refuel. He never made it. Controllers reported
losing contact with Baker about two miles from the airfield at
Sitka. A Coast Guard helicopter found the wreckage in a
heavily wooded area on Friday.
Also on board the 1975 model C-421 (file photo, right), Baker's
wife, Kathleen, Richard and Catherine Lohman and Rick Mohnssen --
all from Colorado.
Colorado Springs (CO) Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Biggs
knew all five victims. ''They were doing it more because they
loved to fly. They all lived and breathed airplanes,'' Biggs said.
''They all knew what they were doing. I can never believe this
happened," he said in an interview quoted by the Associated
''This hits a lot of people,'' said Warren Baker of Colorado
Springs, 27, Michael Baker's son. ''They were five very prominent
people. It's just a tragedy. It's hard to understand. We're all in
Baker, 56, was a Vietnam veteran-turned-general contractor. Along
with his partner, Mohnssen, he built condominiums. Baker's
52-year old wife was an accountant. The Lohmans were
attorneys. All three men on board were experienced pilots,
according to Biggs.
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