Officials ID man, teen killed in ultralight plane crash

Officials have identified the man and a teenage boy who died in a plane crash in Jefferson County Tuesday night.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said 51-year-old David Plambeck, of Edgerton, and 16-year-old Max Burlingame, of Fort Atkinson, were killed after the ultralight plane they were in crashed into the Rock River at about 8 p.m.

According the release, the small aircraft had taken off from Fort Atkinson Airport, but it was still unknown what caused the plane to force land in the river.

When first responders arrived at the area of N3405 County Road K in the town of Jefferson, the plane was partially submerged in the water, the sheriff’s office said. Plambeck and Burlingame were inside the aircraft and unconscious. Recreational boaters in the area helped with retrieving the pilot and passenger, but lifesaving attempts were unsuccessful.

Bo Babovic, who runs the Wisconsin Skydiving Center on the grounds of the Fort Atkinson Airport, remembered Plambeck as a “great guy” and competent pilot.

Babovic said his hangar is right across from Plambeck’s and the two spent a lot of time chatting with each other over the years.

“His technical knowledge was just exceptional,” Babovic said. “He knew a lot about (flying) and he just enjoyed every aspect of it, including maintenance and everything, so I’m very shocked and surprised (about) what happened.”

Babovic said in their time as friends, he and Plambeck shared a love of flight.

“He loved the freedom of (flying), the excitement of it,” Babovic said. “I just think it kind of gave him a purpose beyond work and everyday life.”

The Fort Atkinson School District confirmed that Burlingame was a student at Fort Atkinson High School.

“We would like to express our thanks to the greater community for their support during this difficult time,” Superintendent Dr. Lynn Brown said in a statement Wednesday. The school will offer grief counselors Thursday from 1-3 p.m.

On Wednesday, crews were in the Rock River recovering parts of the plane.

The sheriff’s office, state Department of Natural Resources and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the incident.

Officials ID man, teen killed in ultralight plane crash Officials ID man, teen killed in ultralight plane crash Officials ID man, teen killed in ultralight plane crash