Pilot Killed in Plane Crash Identified

The U.S. Coast Guard has identified the pilot of the plane that went down in Lake Michigan as William Gensler.

**Updated 8:15 a.m. July 28

A single-engine aircraft that took off from a Racine County airport crashed into Lake Michigan, leaving two people dead.

The pilot, identified as William Gensler, and a passenger whose name has not been released, were found inside the wreckage of the plane, according to our media partners at WISN 12 News.

Gensler was a flight instructor at Batten Field, and Dave Mann, general manager at the airport, said Gensler kept an office there as well.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner has confirmed the two deaths, but two people may still be missing because the plane had a four-passenger capacity.

Gensler was reportedly heading to the air show in Oshkosh from Racine when it went down. His 1975 Piper crashed sometime early Saturday evening. 

Debris was found in the water, but it took divers to locate the rest of the wreckage some 42 feet under the surface of the water. Gensler and the passenger were inside, according to our friends at Racine Uncovered. Air traffic control at Mitchell International Airport notified the Coast Guard when the aircraft disappeared off radar.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said there were no calls of distress from the pilot, but that could be because they were flying by visual flight rules, which means they might not have been talking to air traffic control, WISN is reporting.

The search area is about three miles off the coast of Cudahy.

At around 5:45 p.m., the Racine County Dive Team was called in to assist the Milwaukee County Fire Department.


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