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01/10/2011 // West Palm Beach , Florida, US // Sandra Quinlan // Justice News Flash

Chester, CA—Federal aviation authorities are expected to probe a double-fatality plane crash that occurred near a rural airport in Chester, Calif. Thursday night, Jan. 6, 2011. The deadly aviation accident claimed the lives of a Northern California couple, the Mercury News reports.

Reports indicated a 76-year-old Chester pilot, identified by the Plumas County Sheriff’s Department as Ronald Gilmore, was operating a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft when, according to investigators, it went down approximately a quarter-mile from Rogers Field Airport.

Sheriff’s Cmdr. Gerry Hendrick said that due to the severity of the plane wreck, detectives could not immediately confirm whether Ronald Gilmore’s wife, Janet was the second person killed in the accident. Nonetheless, Hendrick seemed to believe she was.

Though details regarding the cause of the Chester plane crash remain scarce, officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the accident.

According to NTSB statistics, 474 people were killed in general aviation accidents throughout the United States in 2009. Of the total number of deaths that resulted from 272 fatal plane crashes during that year, nine of the victims were not aboard the planes involved.

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