Frank and Evelyn Amerosa of Utica, N.Y., were aboard an Angel Flight on Friday night when the twin-engine aircraft went down in Ephratah, about an hour west of Albany, according to police and family members.
Rescue workers have been scouring woods and a big, murky pond where the bulk of the aircraft was submerged. Wreckage from the crash was dispersed over a large area, with pieces of the plane and documents found as far as five miles away.
John Campbell, 70, of Stamford, Conn., was flying the couple back from the Boston area, where Frank Amerosa was being treated for brain cancer, officials and family said.
The bodies of both Campbell and Evelyn Amerosa were recovered from the rural crash site. Searchers continued to look for the body of 64-year-old Frank Amerosa on Monday, authorities said.
Ephratah Town Supervisor Todd Bradt said the effort would resume Tuesday.
Frank Amerosa, a retired trucker, had been diagnosed with brain cancer more than a year ago.
Campbell was a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight, a nonprofit group that arranges free air transportation for the sick. Angel Flight Northeast said it has set up free air transportation and medical care for more than 65,000 children and adults on about 60,000 flights covering more than 12 million miles. It was founded in 1996.
National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Eric Weiss said equipment and personnel were expected at the scene to begin pulling the fuselage from the water. Other debris has been collected from surrounding woods and fields and will be examined along with the main body of wreckage.
The Piper PA 34 departed from Hanscom Field in Bedford, Mass., and was headed to Rome, N.Y., before it crashed just after 5 p.m. Friday, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said. The plane did not issue a distress call before losing radar and radio contact, the NTSB said.
Weiss said a preliminary NTSB report on the accident will be issued in about two weeks, with a final report on the probable cause in about 18 months.