Local News

Authorities find missing pilot dead in plane in Duplin County

Posted November 18, 2013
Updated November 19, 2013

Reid Southerland, coordinator for the Duplin County Emergency Management Office

— Emergency management officials in Duplin County said late Monday that they found dead the pilot of a missing plane that was en route to Detroit Sunday.

The unidentified man was found by the Civil Air Patrol ground team inside the P.149 aircraft about 2 miles from Duplin County Airport in Kenansville, said Reid Southerland, coordinator for the Duplin County Emergency Management Office.

Crews had just located a wing and part of the plane's fuselage prior to the discovery. Southerland said it appeared that the pilot might have been on approach to land.

Authorities have not identified the pilot but said he left Albert Ellis Airport in Jacksonville Sunday morning for a funeral in Detroit. He was the only one on the plane.

Air traffic controllers in Washington D.C. notified local authorities Monday that the plane was missing after the pilot never closed out his flight plan. Family members also reported that he never arrived in Detroit.

Crews concentrated their searches for most of the day on two areas where they got hits from an emergency locator transmitter.

One was near the Duplin-Pender county line, but the search turned up nothing. The second was in a heavily wooded, swampy area, just north of the airport.

Southerland said the National Transportation Safety Board was expected to arrive at the scene Tuesday morning to investigate.

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  • misschris234 Nov 19, 9:48 a.m.

    Very sad. To die on your way to a funeral... bless this family :(