Authorities ID woman killed in WI seaplane crash

WI seaplane crash kills 1, injures 2 others

OSHKOSH, Wis. - Authorities have released the name of a 71-year-old Minnesota woman who died after a seaplane tried to take off near an aviation convention in eastern Wisconsin.

The Winnebago County Sheriff's Office identified the victim as Diane Linker, of Sauk Rapids.

Linker was a passenger in a six-seat seaplane that hit a large wave and overturned while trying to take off Thursday night near the Experimental Aircraft Association's Seaplane Base, just south of Oshkosh. 

Authorities say Linker was one of three people, all from Minnesota, who were taking off from Lake Winnebago near the Experimental Aircraft Association fly-in Thursday evening when the seaplane they were in flipped over in choppy water just before 8 p.m. Experimental Aircraft Association spokesman Dick Knapinski says the six-seat seaplane was going about 80 mph when it crashed.

Linker died Friday. The NTSB says one person remains in critical condition and another has been released from the hospital after being treated for minor injuries. 

The plane is a six-seat Lake Renegade amphibious plane fitted for both land and water, likely built between the mid-1980s and early 2000s, said Knapinski.

The plane is owned by Ray Johnson, of Marshall, who in 2013 was elected to the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame.

"Ray has meant a lot, not only to the community but especially this airport for its development over the years. He's trained a lot of pilots and you can see - even at his age - he never wants to give up the piloting," said Glenn Olson, Southwest Minnesota Regional Airport Manager.

Olson told KARE 11 he does not know the two other Minnesotans on the plane at the time.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Dan Baker says the water was too rough Friday to remove the seaplane. Crews plan to try again Saturday.

The weeklong event attracts 550,000 people from more than 80 countries to Wittman Regional Airport.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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