Update: Bodies of both plane crash victims recovered from Chickamauga Lake

Photos of both victims used with permission from their families.


Crews have recovered both bodies of the plane crash victims from Chickamauga Lake. NewsChannel 9 confirmed that from both victims' families and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department. HCSO spokesman Matt Lea says the main body of plane wreckage has also been located. Both victims were still strapped into their seats.

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office spokesman Matt Lea says the aircraft was located near the vicinity where eyewitness accounts on Monday report the airplane went down just before witnesses lost sight of the aircraft.

The aircraft was located in approximately 35 feet of water after search crews used side-scan sonar to locate an anomaly on the lake floor.

We also have confirmed more details about the second victim, the passenger of the plane.

The passenger’s husband identifies her as Lynda Marinello. He says she taught in the Hamilton County School Corporation for 25 years.

Chris Marinello says they were about to celebrate 32 years of marriage next month. He says he will remember her fun-loving.. vibrant personality the most.

He says investigators just pulled her body out of the water. They found her still strapped into the plane. She was 55 years old.

Marinello tells us Lynda was a teacher at Hamilton County Schools for 25 years. She last taught at Hamilton County schools about 6 years ago, according to a principal.

He says their family has already heard from several of her students, revealing the impact she's had on this community.

The family says Marinello's funeral will be at Urban Lawn on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., at 306 West Main Street in Chattanooga.

The family also tells us they've known the pilot, Capt. Frank Davey, and his family for more than 20 years.

As a pilot himself, Marinello says he never would have worried about her flying with Davey.

We also spoke with Davey's son, Stuart.+

He says, "Dad was probably the most genuine honest caring person you know. (If) you ever needed anything, he was the guy that would answer your call anytime."

He said his father was itching to get back into the skies after several days of rainy weather.

Stuart also remembered the last time he saw his Dad alive: "I'd gotten out to give dad a hug and I said I love you Dad and he said I love you too buddy and I remember (it) as clear as anything. He always made it a point to tell me, if anything ever happens to me don't forget that Dad loves you. He always made it a point and I knew that. I knew that."

Once the craft is removed from the lake, it will be transported to a secure site and detained for investigators to review the wreckage. The HCSO will work in collaboration with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to determine the cause of the crash.

Lea says the timeline to remove the aircraft has not been determined and will depend greatly on the weather, water conditions, the time required to conduct a proper assessment of the wreckage, and the location of available resources necessary to lift the plane from the lake.

“The HCSO would like to offer our prayers and condolences to the family of the victims as they continue through the difficult grieving process,” stated Sheriff Jim Hammond. “I want to thank each of our personnel and the many supportive agencies who assisted with locating this aircraft. Thanks to their relentless determination and training, they have been able to locate the wreckage and help bring some needed closure to the family of the victims,” he further noted.

This is a developing story and will be updated.


On the fourth day of searching for a plane that crashed Monday afternoon in Chickamauga Lake, authorities with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) say crews have found what they are calling “areas of interests” that they plan to investigate in more detail throughout the day.

HCSO spokesman Matt Lea says crews are still trying to locate the plane and the victims, but have already found large pieces of debris.

Right now, there are 5 to 6 boats on the water searching for the main body of the plane. We saw divers in the water using our NewsChannel 9 SkyCam.

Lea says crews, especially divers, are dealing with heavy currents, cold temperatures and a very wide search area.

The water is around 50 degrees or colder, which forces the divers to be underwater for a shorter period of time, even with this equipment.

Lea says, "We are trying to be cautious. We aren't putting them out there if the water isn't right. We want to make sure our guys are safe. We don't want anymore problems with what's going on already. So these guys are professionals, well trained and have good equipment and they are out here doing what they are trained to do."

Read more: Dangerous Dive: Hamilton Co. forensic dive team faces challenges recovering plane wreckage

Family members have identified the pilot as Capt. Frank W. Davey, USMC (Ret.). A family spokesman said in a statement released Wednesday that the possibility of another passenger on board the plane remains, but authorities have not confirmed that detail.

NewsChannel 9 has been in contact with the husband of an reported female passenger on board:

Lea says crews will be out here everyday from 8 or 9 in the morning to sunset until the plane is located.

He also says that even though federal investigators' involvement is hampered by the current government shutdown, that HCSO and other crews are sharing everything they are learning with them.

TVA has reduced water speed at the dam by 25 percent to help with search efforts. TVA also has a safety team on hand.

Watch Lea's Thursday morning news conference below:

Depend on us to keep you posted as new developments come in.

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