The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the four men who were killed Friday in the crash of a small airplane near a Snohomish airfield.

The victims are Scott A. Brenneman, of Roy, Pierce County; Nate Lachendro, of Gig Harbor; Nathan W. Precup, of Seattle; and David W. Newton of Wichita, Kansas. Cause of death for all four was blunt-force trauma, according to the medical examiner.

The Cessna was on a test flight when it broke apart midair and plunged to the ground.

Raisbeck Engineering of Seattle was having the Cessna 208B test flown in preparation for modifying the aircraft, according to an emailed statement from Hal Chrisman, president of Raisbeck.

Chrisman said the aircraft had not yet been modified. The flight crew included two “highly-experienced” test pilots, a flight test director and an instrumentation engineer who were collecting “baseline aircraft performance data,” Chrisman said. 

Raisbeck designs modifications that can help airplanes “fly faster, carry more passengers or cargo and improve flight range,” Chrisman said. The baseline data would allow the company to compare the plane’s performance before and after modifications.

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The Cessna 208B crashed around 10:20 a.m. in a field east of Harvey Field in Snohomish County, about an hour after taking off from Renton Municipal Airport. One witness said the aircraft appeared to have broken apart and caught fire before the crash.

According to the aviation tracking website FlightAware, a Cessna 208B with identifier tail number N2069B took off from Renton Municipal Airport at around 9:25 a.m. and flew north to the Everett area, where it completed several large circles and a series of ascents, descents, accelerations and decelerations before dropping 5,100 feet.

Lachendro worked for Raisbeck Engineering for 22 years and joined the company after earning his master’s degree in aerospace, aeronautical and astronautical engineering, according to his LinkedIn profile. He is listed as an inventor on at least two design patents granted to Raisbeck.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash. 

Seattle Times staff reporter Paige Cornwell contributed to this story, which includes information from Times archives.