Young Eagles Killed In Seattle Crash

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A pilot and two teenage girls died in the crash of a Young Eagles flight on Saturday near Seattle. EAA officials said it was the first fatal crash in more than 500,000 Young Eagles flights, carrying a total of more than 1.2 million kids. "We are deeply saddened by the news of this tragic accident. Our hearts and deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of the three individuals whose lives were lost," said Tom Poberezny, EAA president. The plane had just taken off from Paine Field, in Everett, when it failed to gain altitude and crashed on a vacant lot in a residential area. "He flew just over the trees and started to turn to his left and lost altitude, then disappeared behind the trees," witness Keirstin Smith told The Seattle Times. "I heard him hit a group of trees and saw smoke come up." All three aboard the Piper PA-28 were killed but there were no casualties on the ground. The girls, both in the ninth grade, were students at Aviation High School, a flying-oriented college preparation school that started two years ago to cater to students interested in aviation careers. About a dozen volunteer pilots were scheduled to fly students from Boeing Field to Paine Field and return. "Everyone affiliated with the high school is devastated by this and we are grieving with the families," Catherine Carbone-Rogers, a spokeswoman for the local school district, told the Times.