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Man Killed In Plane Crash Identified

GREAT VALLEY — An 80-year-old Brockport man has been identified as the passenger killed in a plane crash Wednesday afternoon in Cattaraugus County.

William H. Mandelare died as the result of the crash, which took place at the Great Valley Airport around 2 p.m.

According to the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office, a preliminary investigation found that the plane, a Cessna 177, appears to have experienced trouble during takeoff and crashed into a field just off the runway.

“He could see the plane in the air and the wings kind of tilt slightly,” Capt. Ronald Lott told the Times Herald of the witness. “He looked in the sky and did not see the plane actually in the air, and a few seconds later he saw black smoke.”

The other occupant, identified by the Sheriff’s Office as 72-year-old Brockport resident Raymond E. Groetsch, was flown by helicopter to Erie County Medical Center and remained in critical condition.

The crash, located at the private airport north of Salamanca, remains under investigation with the assistance of the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration.

On Thursday, the NTSB said it was sending an air safety investigator to the scene of the crash.

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