Brothers Jim and Kirk Hansen, founders of health and wellness company Kyäni Inc., were on the single-engine Pilatus PC-12 with their father, Jim Hansen Sr., when he crashed after takeoff on Saturday in Chamberlain, South Dakota, Kyäni President Travis Garza said in a statement. There were three survivors.
Also killed in the accident were Jim Hansen Jr.'s son, Jake Hansen, and Jake's son, Houston. Kirk Hansen's sons Stockton and Logan and their sons-in-law Kyle Naylor and Tyson Dennert died in the crash.
"We are deeply saddened to announce that yesterday we lost our precious founders Jim and Kirk in a tragic plane crash," Garza said in a statement that identified family members. "We are all in mourning and ask for your prayers."
Jim and Kirk Hansen had children who survived, along with one of Jim Hansen Jr.'s sons-in-law, Garza's statement said. They were transported to hospitals in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The statement did not indicate why the family was traveling, but was linked to a story on EastIdahoNews.com who reported that the family had hunted in South Dakota. Another story on the site showed the group in hunting suits, many holding rifles with their set of hunting birds.
The Swiss-made turboprop carrying the family was destined for Idaho Falls Regional Airport in southeastern Idaho, said Lynn Lunsford, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration.
Although it was unclear whether the accident was weather related, the plane crashed before noon Saturday amid a great winter storm, with snow falling at one inch an hour per hour, officials said. Visibility on Saturday was sometimes less than a mile, said the Sioux Falls National Weather Service. Jim and Kirk Hansen founded his Idaho-based company together with their wives according to Kyäni website. Kyäni Inc. sells nutritional and skin care products, among others, that "combine nature's best adaptations with the latest modern technology," the company's website say.
"While these developments are very sad for the Kyäni family, the family has been smart enough to form a solid team that can change this company now and in the future," Garza's statement said.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the accident.