Updated at 6 p.m. — The Napa County Coroner's Office has identified a Northern Virginia husband and wife and the wife's father as the three people who died in the crash of a private airplane in rural Napa County.
Shauna and James Waite, 37-year-old residents of Arlington, Virginia, were aboard the small plane that went down Friday morning in a vineyard near Angwin Parrett Field airport, along with Shauna's father, 73-year-old Robert Nicholas of Murrieta in Riverside County, according to Napa County sheriff's spokesperson Henry Wofford.
Nicholas was at the controls of the Beechcraft Bonanza 35 when it crashed at about 8:40 a.m., Napa County officials said in a news release late Monday.
Nicholas and his daughter Shauna Waite were both licensed pilots, and the single-engine propeller aircraft was registered to Nicholas as the owner, Federal Aviation Administration records indicate.
Data from the aviation website Flightaware.com indicated the Beechcraft took off from French Valley near Murrieta at 5:51 a.m. Friday, and had been flying northwest for two hours and 46 minutes before the crash.
The identities of Nicholas and the Waites were first reported earlier Monday by friends, co-workers and media outlets in the Washington, D.C. area, including Washington news radio station WTOP-FM and the Arlington news website ARLNow.
Earlier, the deaths of the Waites had been announced Saturday by the D.C. Road Runners, a running club of which the couple were members, according to ARLNow.
“There are no words that can describe the loss of these wonderful people,” said the D.C. Road Runners post. “They loved life and lived every moment to the fullest. Their excitement for life was infectious.”
The 1-year-old son of the Waites was with Shauna's mother and was not aboard the plane, the running club reported.
Three people died when a small aircraft crashed Friday morning near the Angwin airport.
ARLNow reported that the Waites were avid travelers and winery visitors and that Shauna Waite posted to social media in 2019 about obtaining a pilot’s license and surprising her father with the news.
The circumstances of the crash remain under investigation. Scanner reports indicated the plane came down on a property south of the airport runway along Las Posadas Road, and witnesses reported seeing flames and a smoke column after impact.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.
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