2 dead after small plane crashes into Lake Michigan near Milwaukee suburb

  • Updated: July 28, 2013 - 5:55 PM

MILWAUKEE — The pilot killed when his plane crashed into Lake Michigan near Milwaukee was a veteran flyer who ran an aviation company at the Racine Airport.

The Coast Guard identified him as William Gensler, 75, of Racine. His son, Jeff Gensler, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sunday that he's "at a loss to explain what happened" (http://bit.ly/179kyqa).

William Gensler and another man were pulled from the plane after it crashed Saturday afternoon into the lake off the suburb of Cudahy. The identity of the other man has not been released.

The plane — a four-seat, single engine 1975 Piper Arrow — was found beneath 42 feet of water. It had departed from Racine's Batten International Airport, home to Gensler Aviation.

Dave Mann, the airport's general manager, said Gensler was an experienced pilot.

"He had more than 40,000 hours of flying and most of that was instructing others how to fly," Mann said.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner will perform autopsies of the two men.

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