Pilots identified after fatal plane crash in St. Charles County

By | January 12, 2022

A man and woman with thousands of hours of training experience were identified as the two people killed in a weekend plane crash in rural St. Charles County.

Police and an official with the National Transportation Safety Board released several new details Tuesday morning as the investigation shifted from the crash site to a recovery facility.

Police Chief Kurt Frisz said Amanda Youngblood, 35, and George King, 55, were piloting the plane when it crashed Saturday evening. Both were from Ohio.

They were flying for AirNet II and planned to go to Denver to pick up cargo to bring back to St. Louis.

King and Youngblood took off at 7:10 p.m. from the Spirit of St. Louis Airport. They climbed to 8,000 feet then turned toward the east and descended, according to NTSB official Mike Folkerts. The plane crashed about nine minutes after takeoff.

“There was not a distress call. There are some communications that we’re assessing that give the impression that potentially there was an issue, but we need to assess those further,” Folkerts said.

He described the crash as a “very high-speed impact” that left the twin engine Baron scattered in pieces.

The crash site was about six miles northwest of Defiance, Missouri in a rural, wooded area.

After finishing the on-site investigation, NTSB officials will now look further into the pilots, the plane and any other outside factors that could have contributed to the crash. They’ll assess the flight path, weather conditions, pilot communications, plane equipment and the pilots’ training, experience and health.

Pilots identified after fatal plane crash in St. Charles County

They’ll also analyze audio from a front door security camera that caught the sound of the plane.

NTSB officials expect to release a preliminary report within the next two weeks. A full report will be ready in the next 12-18 months.

Folkerts wouldn’t speculate on a potential cause of the crash since it’s so early in the investigation. He did explain that it was raining at the time, but investigators don’t anticipate icing to be a factor in the crash.