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Six Lost In PC-12 Accident In Florida

Kansas Family Had Been Returning From The Bahamas

The Pilatus PC-12 which went down in Polk County, FL, Thursday was being flown by a Kansas resident who was returning with his family from the Bahamas. The plane went down just before noon Thursday in the Tiger Creek preserve near Lake Wales, FL.

The pilot of the airplane was 45-year-old Ronald Bramlage of Junction City, Kansas. He, his wife Becky, and their four children ages 8 to 15 were all on board the Pilatus when it went down. Television station KSN reports that the Polk County Sheriff's office says that the airplane started to break up before it went down.

The NTSB would not confirm that statement. Senior Air Safety Investigator Tim Monville told reporters Friday that information is still limited. He did confirm that the plane had at some point flown at an altitiude of 25,100 feet, and that Bramlage had been in contact with Miami Center. That contact was lost, but another pilot had heard a "Mayday" call from the PC-12. No specific emergency was noted in that transmission.

Monville did say that there was evidence of structural separation, but did not say how that had happened. He confirmed that a section of the wing measuring about six feet was not with the main wreckage of the airplane, and is missing.

Five of the six people aboard the plane have been located, though one child is still missing. It is believed that the child was ejected from the airplane before it impacted the ground.

In a statement released to the media, K-State University President Dr. Kirk Schulz and Athletics Director John Currie said "We are shocked and saddened by the tragic news of the deaths of Ron and Becky Bramlage and their children today.  The Bramlage family holds a special place in the history of Kansas State University and K-State Athletics, and Ron and Becky have been loyal supporters and great fans of K-State.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bramlage family during this difficult time." (Pilatus PC-12 file image. Not accident airplane)

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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