From Slidell Police:
Around 9:20 p.m. last night (Tuesday, April 19), Slidell Police, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, and St. Tammany Fire District One all responded to a plane crash at the Slidell City Airport (managed and maintained by the City of Slidell). From what we know, two St. Tammany Parish Mosquito planes were landing after spraying various areas. The pilot of one of the planes witnessed the crash. He stated that during the approach for landing, for unknown reasons, the other plane rolled upside down and crashed into the wood line. The pilot who successfully landed immediately called 911 and attempted to get back to the crash site.
The crash site, which is on the northwest corner of the airport property in the woods, was heavily engulfed in flames and extremely hard to access. Helicopters with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and Acadian Ambulance both surveyed the scene while first responders with Slidell PD, STPSO, and STFD1 retrieved ATV’s, and other off-road vehicles, in order to reach the crash site. It was confirmed late last night that there were two pilots inside of the plane, both of which did not survive the crash.
This morning, crews with the City of Slidell are working on clearing the area in order for the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office to retrieve the bodies. The investigation into the reason for the crash is being turned over to the FAA and the NTSB. The identities of the two pilots will have to be released by the STPCO pending proper identity of the bodies and notifications to the next-of-kin.
“This is a very unfortunate accident and our prayers are with the families of the two pilots who perished in the crash,” says Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith. “I would like to complement the massive effort last night by all first responders who attempted rescue efforts. The conditions were extremely dangerous and not easy to navigate.”