HEISE – An eastern Idaho couple died in a plane crash Friday afternoon near Elko, Nevada.
Friends and relatives say the victims are Mike and Robin Quinn, owners of Heise Hot Springs.
“Friday evening, Heise Hot Springs experienced a tragic loss. Mike and Robin Quinn have been confirmed deceased by members of the Heise family,” a family member says in a statement to EastIdahoNews.com. “Their private plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Jackpot, Nevada. No other details are available at this time. The family thanks you for your support.”
Mike had been a pilot for 40 years, and the couple frequently flew into Jackpot for a night of dinner and entertainment, family members say.
Sgt. Nick Czegledi with Elko County, Nevada Sheriff’s Office says the couple took off from the Jackpot airport in an AA5B Grumman-American plane around 5:40 p.m. Friday on their way back to Idaho. Shortly after takeoff, Mike made a left turn to the east, lost altitude and crashed.
The plane burst into flames when it landed. The cause of the crash has still not been determined. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transporation Safety Board are on their way to conduct an investigation.
Czegeldi says crashes like this are a common occurrence at the airport and his heart goes out to the family.
“This gentleman flies in and out of there frequently with his wife,” Czegeldi says. “My heart goes out to the family.”
Kelsey Schlenker, Mike and Robin’s daughter, paid tribute to her parents in a Facebook post Saturday morning.
“My parents have always been outgoing and doing random things spur of the moment. Mike has been flying since he was 29. They randomly took trips to Jackpot to have dinner and some entertainment for the evening. They decided to this yesterday,” she wrote. “I lost both of my parents last night. I will be forever grateful for his kindness and love he had toward me. Mike wasn’t my biological father, but he sure treated me like I was his own blood, for that I will be forever thankful. My mom Robin was the most selfless person I have ever met. She would do anything for anyone whenever possible. I hope to someday be just like her.”
The family is grateful for the community’s support, but asks that you respect their privacy during this time of mourning.