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September 01, 2020 1:29pm
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Washington pilot who had gone missing found dead in plane that crashed in forested area

A Seattle-area attorney who is said to have been an experienced pilot crashed and died over the weekend. He was found Monday, authorities announced.

A Washington pilot who had gone missing over the weekend was found dead by search and rescue crews in crash debris in a heavily forested area, officials said.

Jerry Riedinger, 69, of Issaquah was located inside his wrecked 2001 Extra Flugzeugbau 300/L around 1:30 p.m. Monday near Humpback Mountain west of Snoqualmie Pass, the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) said.   

Riedinger's wife reported him missing around 6 p.m. Sunday after he failed to arrive at his scheduled destination of Ephrata after flying out of Arlington Municipal Airport around 4:30 p.m. 

Riedinger, a Seattle-area lawyer and experienced airshow pilot, was the only person aboard the plane at the time of the crash. He was last seen flying at an altitude of approximately 8,000 feet when he lost connection with ground crews. 

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Search and rescue teams of more than 220 people utilized cellphone and flight data to locate the crash site off I-90.

"WSDOT offers our sincere condolences to the entire Riedinger family for their loss," the agency said in a news release. "WSDOT is thankful for those who provided their time or expertise during the search mission."

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The King County Sheriff's Office and National Transportation Safety Board will continue investigating the crash.

"There was a little bit of weather in the area, so that may have played a part in it. Other than that, we don’t know. It was a highly capable aircraft and an experienced pilot," Tom Peterson, WSDOT Air Search and Rescue Coordinator, told KOMO News.  

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