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Victims Of Plane Crash Identified

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Three members of a California family killed in an Oregon plane crash last Friday are described as fun-loving go-getters with a zest for life.

The crash outside of Harrisburg killed 42-year-old John A. Zitting, his wife, 37-year-old Karen Blackmore Zitting, and their 17-year-old son John "Brendan" Zitting.  

67-year-old Mark Aletky of Acton, California also died.  He was the pilot of the Piper PA-46 that hit a rural field before 11am on April 7.

Mark Zitting of Heber City, Utah, described his brother John as a man who lived life to the fullest, loved to travel and loved the ocean.  He adds that the family members from Thousand Oaks, California, were good people and set great examples for others.

The family was headed to Eugene, Oregon, so that Brendan - their only child - could tour the University of Oregon. 

The National Safety Transportation Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating possible factors in the deadly crash.  Heavy gusts socked the region the same day the Zittings were en route from a Van Nuys, California airfield.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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