Four generations of same family killed in plane crash returning from hunting trip

Samuel Osborne
An NTSB air safety investigator begins the initial examination of the wreckage of the Pilatus PC-12 that crashed in Chamberlain, South Dakota: NTSB via AP

Four generations of the same family have been killed after their plane crashed in a field as they were returning from a hunting trip.

Nine people, all of whom were related, died in the accident in South Dakota shortly after their plane took off as they returned to Idaho.

Jim and Kirk Hansen, who were executives with petroleum company Conrad & Bischoff and skincare company Kyani, died along with their father Jim Hansen Sr.

Kirk Hansen’s children, Stockton and Logan also died, as well as his sons-in-law Kyle Taylor and Tyson Dennert.

Jim Hansen’s son, Jake, and grandson, Houston, were also killed.

Three people survived the crash and were hospitalised.

They were identified as Kirk Hansen’s son, Josh, and Jim Hansen’s son, Matt, and son-in-law Thomas Long.

The party were travelling aboard a Pilatus PC-12, a plane which is not required to have a cockpit voice recorder or flight data recorder, when it crashed within a mile after takeoff in Chamberlain around 12.30pm on Sunday, the National Transportation Safety Board said.

They had been on a pheasant hunting trip in South Dakota, East Idaho News reported. A photo on the site showed them dressed in hunting gear with many holding shotguns, with a haul of pheasants.

Kirk and Jim Hansen were killed in the crash, along with several other family members (Bradly J Boner/Jackson Hole News & Guide via AP)

Brian Wood, owner of a funeral home in Idaho Falls, lamented the deaths on Facebook. He called Jim and Kirk Hansen “pillars of our community” and said they had offered many times over the years to help pay expenses for someone who might not be able to afford it.

“Our community has a dark cloud over it now,” Mr Wood wrote. “They will never know the many lives they touched.”

The two Hansen brothers and their father were prominent leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, East Idaho News reported.

Federal investigators examined the crash site on Monday.

No cause had been determined, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson told the Associated Press, but investigators would be reviewing the weather along with other factors.

It was unclear who the pilot was, but Kirk Hansen had a private pilot certificate.