Two people are dead in Monroe County following the crash of a single-engine headed for Madison.
The pilot has been identified as Richard Arlin Justice, 73, of Hatley, according to Monroe County Coroner Alan Gurley. The name of the passenger is not being released at the request of the family, Gurley said.
The two were the lone occupants of the plane.
According to FlightAware, a 1980 Mooney M20J fixed wing single-engine plane, registered to Justice, was scheduled to depart from the Monroe County Airport at 6:10 a.m and arrive at Bruce Campbell Field in Madison at 7:05 a.m. The plane took off at 6:14 a.m.
Shortly after takeoff, the plane "must have had some problems" and turned around toward the airport, said Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell.
The plane crashed three to five minutes after takeoff in a wooded area, Cantrell said.
Officials found the wreckage about a half mile south of the airport around 11:40 a.m., according to Federal Aviation Administration Communications Manager Kathleen Burgen.
The two bodies were recovered from the plane.
There was no sign of fire at the scene, Cantrell said.
The FAA is investigating, Burgen said. The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the accident and is in a "fact-finding" stage, according to spokesperson Terry Williams.
Williams said it will likely be a year before a final probable cause of the crash is released.
ABERDEEN, Miss. —
An experienced pilot and a passenger have died after a plane crash in northeast Mississippi.
Monroe Emergency Management Director Bunky Goza told WTVA-TV that the single-engine Mooney M20 left Monroe County Airport around 6:15 a.m. Tuesday, bound for Madison.
The plane never arrived, and emergency workers found wreckage in a wooded area south of the Aberdeen airport after 11 a.m.
Monroe County Coroner Alan Gurley said Richard Arlin Justice, 73, of Hatley, was the pilot who died. The passenger's name wasn't immediately released.
Airport Manager Wes Kirkpatrick told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that Justice was an experienced pilot who kept his plane at the airport.
Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the National Transportation Safety Board will send investigators to determine the cause of the crash.
Mooney M20J 201
C/n / msn: 24-1003
Fatalities: Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities: 0
Airplane damage: Unknown
Location: South of Monroe County Airport (M40), Aberdeen/Amory, MS - United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport: Monroe County (M40)
Destination airport: Bruce Campbell Field (KMBO)
The aircraft impacted the terrain in Monroe County during an apparent attempt to return to the point of departure at Monroe County Airport (M40) in Aberdeen/Amory, Mississippi. The airplane sustained unreported damage and the two occupants on-board received fatal injuries.