Bodies of pilot, passenger pulled from Sound

Mirror staff

Divers recovered the bodies Wednesday of a Federal Way pilot and his passenger from a private airplane that crashed and sank last month in Puget Sound.

David Verstrate, 65, and Puyallup resident Harold Barnett, 59, were on a return flight Feb. 29 from Sequim to Auburn when the single-engine plane disappeared. An oil slick near Heron Island in Pierce County was spotted March 6, and a private company hired by the men’s families used sonar equipment to pinpoint the aircraft’s location 140 feet underwater March 13.

Divers from the Pierce County Sheriff Department and Underwater Admiralty Services reached the plane and bodies earlier this week but weren’t able to bring up the bodies until Wednesday. Authorities said there are no plans to recover the plane.

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