"This is a tragedy of monumental proportion, and it breaks our hearts. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the family and friends of the Bramlage family. Thank you so much to all of the agencies who came to support us in this investigation." - Sheriff Grady Judd
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a death investigation as a result of an aircraft crash the occurred Thursday, June 7, 2012, at approximately 12:30 p.m. The aircraft, a 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 (single-turboprop, fixed wing), is owned by Roadside Ventures LLC of Junction City, Kansas. Ronald Bramlage, of McFarland Road, Junction City, Kansas, is the owner of Roadside Ventures LLC, located in Junction City, Kansas.
The aircraft had taken off from Treasure Cay Airport located in the Abaco Islands, Bahamas, Thursday morning. The aircraft stopped at the St. Lucie County International Airport located in Fort Pierce, Florida, to clear customs. The aircraft took off from Fort Pierce with 2 adults and 4 children on board at 12:05 p.m. in route to Junction City, Kansas. Over southeast Polk County the plane began to break apart and crashed. Investigators do not know what caused the crash at this time. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are currently conducting investigations regarding the civil aviation accident.
Deputies were able to reach the area by helicopter with medical personnel after reports of an aircraft crash; however it was immediately clear that there were no survivors of the crash. The crash site is in a remote, wooded, and uninhabited area of southeast Polk County.
Traveling in the aircraft were: Ronald Bramlage (pilot) - age 45; his wife, Rebecca Bramlage - age 43; and their 4 children: Brandon - 15; Boston - 13; Beau - 11; and Roxanne - 8. Three of the children and both parents were located deceased inside the plane -- PCSO, Polk County Fire Rescue, Florida Fish & Wildlife (FWC), the Florida Department of Corrections, Lake County Sheriff's and Osceola County Sheriff's deputies conducted a search and recovery mission to locate 13-year-old Boston Bramlage. He was found deceased around 2:20 p.m. on Friday, June 8th, approximately 0.4 mile southwest of the main crash site.
Search and recovery teams used mounted patrol (horses), marine patrol (on area lakes), K-9 teams, 4-wheelers, 4 wheel drive trucks and utility vehicles, and aviation (helicopter, weather permitting).
Parts of the aircraft have been located between 3 and 4 miles from the crash site. It is apparent that parts of the aircraft separated before the crash and there was a rupture in the cabin area of the plane while it was in the air. The aircraft was traveling at approximately 25,000 feet when it first began experiencing trouble.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is conducting the death investigation and search and recovery efforts as a result of the crash. The NTSB and FAA will be conducting aviation accident investigations related the crash. Additionally, the aircraft manufacturer and the engine manufacturer will be conducting investigations.
REMINDER TO CITIZENS: IF YOU FIND ANY AIRPLANE DEBRIS, DO NOT TOUCH IT! PLEASE CONTACT PCSO IMMEDIATELY AT 863-298-6200.