According to an account in the Lake Placid Press Republican, Fred Y. Kafka of Vienna was piloting a 1967 Mooney M20F following a pleasure flight over the mountains surrounding Lake Placid, when it approached the airport for a landing at the same time another aircraft was making a similar approach. The pilots of both aircraft were advised to discontinue their landing approaches and circle the airport for further landing instructions. After climbing out of its landing approach, the plane piloted by Kafka apparently stalled, failed to regain power, and crashed in a nearby pasture and burst into flames.
Kafka; his daughter, Kathleen Kafka; and Reed Phillips of Potsdam, N.Y., a classmate of hers at nearby Clarkson University, all died at the scene.
Fred Kafka had apparently flow to the New York airport on Friday to visit his daughter.
The National Transportation Safety Board was investigating the accident.