Eight people died after two aircraft collided above Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho on Sunday afternoon 5 July.

It is a pilot’s worst nightmare – two aircraft enjoying a flip with family and friends over the beautiful Idaho lakes collided with complete loss of life.

Bringing it close to home – SA Flyer editor Guy Leitch feels this crash particularly acutely as he enjoyed flying above this lake in a Quest Kodiak a few years ago.

The two planes — identified by the National Transportation Safety Board as a Cessna TU206G and a de Havilland DHC-2 floatplane — sank in about 127 feet of water

The DHC-2 was piloted by Neil Lunt, 58, of Liberty Lake, Washington. Sean Fredrickson, 48, of Lake Oswego, Oregon, was a passenger along with his children and step-children, a 16-year-old female, a 16-year-old male and an 11-year-old male. Another male that was on the plane has not yet been identified by authorities.

Investigators have identified the two occupants in the Cessna but their names are being held pending notification of next of kin, according to the release.

Two victims were recovered immediately after the crash before the planes sank. Three occupants have been removed from the planes since they sank but KCSO sonar teams and dive teams are still working to recover additional victims from the sunken aircraft. The depth of the water and where the victims are located in the wreckage are making recovery operations difficult, the release said.

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