UPDATED: Missing Plane Crashes in South Haven Killing Both Pilots
(This is an ongoing, developing story)
UPDATE: 6 a.m., Aug. 4: Authorities are now saying they believe the plane and its two pilots crashed minutes after takeoff on Tuesday. Both experienced pilots were conducting training flights that would mostly keep them below traditional radar coverage. This is one of the biggest contributing factors in why it was so difficult in locating them.
The plane had been missing for 20 hours before authorities discovered it in a wooded area near the airport.
UPDATE: 12:30 PM: More details are emerging on a plane crash in South Haven.
Authorities have confirmed the two people killed were both men, in their 70s, and accomplished pilots who were doing training flights nearby. Calls began to come in abouta missing and overdue plane shortly after they didn't return.
The area where the plane was found could not be accessed easily by foot or vehicle, and had to be identified by a helicopter. Sgt. Kyle Griffith can be seen in the tweet below describing the difficulty in finding the plane.
ORIGINAL STORY - Authorities in South Haven, Michigan, have reported a plane crash Wednesday morning, allegedly killing both pilots on board.
According to flight plans, the two pilots were training together, and took of on Tuesday. One of the pilots was an instructor, and the other an experienced pilot.
Officials reported the plane missing on Tuesday when they didn't check in on their flight plan. They left South Haven Regional Airport on Tuesday morning, and hadn't made contact since.
After a night of searching, South Haven Police found it, crashed in a wooded area near 12th Avenue and 72nd Street early Wednesday morning.
South Haven police then notified the FAA that they had found the missing aircraft, and reported both pilots dead.
Authorities involved in the search last night included the FAA, Michigan State Police, Van Buren County Sheriff's Department, the Allegan County Sheriff's Office, and the United States Air Force.
The names of the pilots are not being released at this time, and no cause for the accident is being reported. It will likely be some time before an investigation can conclude what happened.
This isn't the first aircraft accident to happen in western Michigan lately. On July 15th, a small plane crashed in Oceana County and killed two people.
That crash was blamed on rain and poor visibility. Authorities identified the pilot as 56-year-old Raymond Gundy of Muskegon, and his passenger, 48-year-old Troy Caris of Holton.
As more information is available on this developing story in South Haven, we will update this information.