Rock County plane crash victims, both pilots, were UWO graduate and Kimberly flight instructor

The Rock Co. Sheriff's Office released this photo of the plane crash on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021,...
The Rock Co. Sheriff's Office released this photo of the plane crash on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, outside of Janesville.(Rock Co. Sheriff's Office)
Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 6:27 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 19, 2021 at 10:39 PM CST
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JANESVILLE, Wis. (WBAY) - The people who died in the crash of a small plane that took off from Appleton Tuesday have been identified. The Rock County Medical Examiner’s Department says Remington K. Viney, 26, of Kimberly, and Tanner W. Byholm, 25, of Glidden (Ashland County) both died in the crash, our ABC affiliate WKOW reported.

Authorities said autopsies were performed on both of the victims. Preliminary results are pending further study.

Tanner Byholm’s obituary says he was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and earned his flight instruction certification at Fox Valley Technical College. He served as a Marine Reservist and in the Air Force Reserve, in which he flew the A-10.

Viney’s LinkedIn page says she was a certified flight instructor for Pilotsmith/CAVU in Appleton, Green Bay and Manitowoc, and served in the Wisconsin Air National Guard. According to Wisconsin Life and the Wisconsin State Journal, Viney, at the age of 19 and only months after receiving her pilot’s license, made a “textbook emergency landing” in a cornfield in Dodge County, resulting in no injuries and no damage to the plane. Women in Aviation International’s Four Lakes Chapter said Viney was a founding member of their chapter in Madison.

We mourn the tragic loss of a young pilot whose life was cut far too short this week. Remington Viney was a founding...

Posted by Women in Aviation - Four Lakes Chapter on Friday, February 19, 2021

The National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating why the plane crashed outside of Janesville. NTSB spokesperson Peter Knudson told our Gray TV sister station WMTV the Velocity V-Twin departed from Appleton and was bound for Sebastian, Florida, an oceanside city about 90 miles southeast of Orlando. It stopped at South Wisconsin Regional Airport in Janesville around 9 A.M. to refuel.

After departing, the pilot reported engine problems and intended to return to the airport. It was still about 4 miles away when the plane went down.

The Rock County Sheriff’s Office says the aircraft was found upside down in a muddy, densely wooded area along the Rock River. According to the sheriff’s office, the plane cut through several of the densely packed trees as it went down. Because of its location, rescue crews needed to use airboats to reach the plane.

“There was a number of springs and there was a lot of water. It’s very low lying area, trees. With the snow being relatively deep, navigating all of that was difficult,” authorities said Tuesday.

Authorities have described the plane as unique or experimental.

The Rock County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the final pieces of the wreckage were removed Thursday night. According to the NTSB, the plane will go to a secure location where its investigator will be able to examine it more closely.

The NTSB expects to release a preliminary report detailing the facts of the crash as soon as next week. The final report, which would include the official cause, if one is determined, could take 1 to 2 years.

Copyright 2021 WBAY. WMTV and WKOW contributed to this report. All rights reserved.