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Authorities identify victims in Cattaraugus County plane crash

Authorities identify victims in Cattaraugus County plane crash

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Wednesday's fatal crash of a small plane in Great Valley in Cattaraugus County occurred while the aircraft was still in the takeoff phase of its flight, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

One man on the plane was killed and another was injured in the crash of the Cessna 177B, which had departed Great Valley Airport, according to FAA records.

The cause of the crash – which happened "under unknown circumstances after takeoff," according to online FAA records – remains under investigation.

William H. Mandelare, 80, of Brockport, was killed in the crash, the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office said Thursday. Raymond E. Groetsch, 72, also of Brockport, was in critical condition in Erie County Medical Center.

Groetsch owned the plane. Investigators are still trying to determine which man was flying the plane, said Capt. Ronald Lott of the Sheriff's Office. Both Mandelare and Groetsch held pilot's licenses, Lott added.

The crash of the fixed-wing, single-engine plane happened at about 2:10 p.m. in a field just off the runway, the Sheriff's Office said.

Groetsch suffered burns and broken bones and was taken from the scene by Mercy Flight, the Sheriff's Office told the Olean Times Herald.

The aircraft was flown from Ledgedale Airpark in Brockport to Great Valley Airport on Wednesday morning, according to

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash and was sending an investigator to the crash site Thursday, the agency said on Twitter.

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