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SIU aviation alumnus among 3 killed in plane crash near Eagle River, Wisconsin

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Dominik Faciano, a May graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s aviation program, was among three killed in an airplane crash Wednesday, Sept. 29, near Eagle River in Forest County, Wisconsin.

Family members informed SIU aviation faculty of Faciano’s death, Mike Burgener, interim director of SIU’s School of Aviation, confirmed to The Southern Thursday.

Burgener said Faciano remained a friend of many current SIU aviation students as well as flight instructors.

“He was a recent graduate and had gone off to continue his career in flight,” Burgener said.

Faciano’s personal Facebook page lists him as a survey pilot/operator for Surdex Corporation and indicated he lived in St. Louis.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration online accident report, a Rockwell 690B Turbo Command crashed about 12 miles east of the Eagle River Union Airport Wednesday morning. The FAA’s registry indicates the twin-engine plane was registered to Surdex Corporation of Chesterfield, Missouri.

Surdex is a mapping and data services provider. The company did not return a call to the Associated Press seeking more information.

The pilot and two passengers were killed in the accident, according to the FAA report.

Burgener said he was told Faciano was one of the passengers. The report said the aircraft crashed “under unknown circumstances in a swamp” about 9 a.m.

Rhinelander/Oneida County Airport Director Matthew Leitner said Wednesday the plane departed about 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

Leitner said he received a communication from air traffic control in Minneapolis, which oversees airplane traffic in northern Wisconsin, about 9:30 a.m. that a plane was missing.

After an intensive search, the wreckage was found about 11 a.m. within near the Franklin Lake Campground in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The forest is located in northern Wisconsin.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident.

Burgener said counselors will be made available Monday for SIU aviation faculty and students.

“It’s a terrible loss to us,” he said. “He was a very well-liked member of our family,” he said.

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