MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Family and friends are mourning the loss of a former student from western Wisconsin after a fiery plane crash in Costa Rica.

Amanda Geissler, who attended University of Wisconsin-Stout, was killed when the plane crashed into a mountain. Video posted by Costa Rica’s public safety ministry shows the plane’s burning wreckage.

amanda geissler Former UW Stout Student Dies In Plane Crash In Costa Rica

(credit: Geissler family)

The charter flight was on its way from a resort beach town to the capital of San Jose Sunday afternoon.

Along with Geissler, who was the trip leader, there were two pilots and two families — a family of four from Florida and a family of five from New York.

“It’s so devastating because they’re great people. And the kids are great and I feel like they’re the family you want to emulate,” neighbor Lisa Flicker said.

The director of Costa Rica’s Civil Aviation Agency said the Cessna passed a safety inspection about a month ago and was authorized to fly. He says strong winds delayed the plane’s landing when it arrived from San Jose that morning.

Geissler’s family released a statement saying in part: “Amanda lived her life with no regrets and inspired so many others to consider the same. She is loved by so many, and with a heavy heart it will be hard to say goodbye.

“If Amanda could leave us all with one thing it would be — write down whatever it is you want to do…and make it happen.”

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