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Arkansas Couple Found Dead at Scene of Plane Crash

MADISON COUNTY, Ark. -- A husband and wife on a plane that crashed in Northwest Arkansas have been found dead.
MADISON COUNTY, Ark. -- A husband and wife on a plane that crashed in Northwest Arkansas have been found dead.

KNWA reports that Madison County Sheriff confirmed a plane, thought to have crashed on Monday by local authorities, was found Tuesday morning.

Officials have not released details on where the aircraft was found but say it was discovered at 8:48 a.m. by police. 

Sheriff's Deputies spent Monday afternoon looking for the plane which went missing in around 2:14 p.m. around the Pettigrew area.  A ground crew found the plane according to Glenn Weller with TriState Patrol.

The bodies of the husband and wife on board were found.  The couple, from Pryor, Oklahoma, were the only passengers.

According to the Sheriff, trees at the site had been clipped and weather may have been a factor in the crash.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is on the way to investigate the crash site which is on hill on private property.

KJRH in Tulsa reports that the plane took off out of Alexander City, Alabama, KALX, yesterday morning. The GM of the airport, Mike Smith said he thinks that may have established radar contact around the Sylacauga Airport after taking off.

previous coverage by KNWA:

MADISON COUNTY, Ark.-- More resources are being called out to search for a missing plane and its two passengers south of Huntsville, AR Tuesday morning. About 80 people from agencies in Benton, Madison and Washington Counties searched an area around the Little Mulberry River area near Highway 16. Later Monday evening, crews then moved to the Ball Creek area. Madison County Deputies say the plane left Sylacauga, Alabama headed to Claremore, Oklahoma when it lost contact with a control tower at around 2:15 Monday afternoon. According to weather radar, there was a high rate of descent just before losing contact. 

"It was a boom!" said neighbor Phyllis Turner Sisk. She lives nearby the search site and says she heard a boom at around 2:15 Monday. "I thought what on earth is going on?" 

Deputies tell us two people were on board the plane. Crews will be back out in the Ball Creek area at 7:00 Tuesday morning. The departments assisting in the search include the U.S. Forest Service, Arkansas State Police, and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. According to our NBC affiliate, KJRH, the missing plane was recently sold. The tail number is N888TP. The 16-day federal shutdown apparently has caused a backlog delaying the FAA in updating its website to show the current owner.

The FAA says has released a statement in regards to the missing plane search. Read the full statement below.

Re: N888TP missing in Arkansas

Controllers lost radar and radio contact with the aircraft near Huntsville, Ark., shortly after 2 p.m. Local authorities began searching for the aircraft but have not located it. Two people are believed to be on board. 

The plane was traveling from Sylacauga, AL, to Claremore, OK. It was cloudy and rainy in the vicinity of where the plane disappeared. The terrain is mountainous. 

Local authorities -- not sure which -- will have more precise information on the status of the search. 

-Lynn Lunsford

(ORIGINAL STORY-10/21/13): MADISON COUNTY, Ark.-- Madison County Sheriff's deputies are looking for a plane that may have crashed in the area, according to Captain Robert Boyd.  Emergency crews including EMS and the Pettigrew fire department have staged an area off Highway 16 near the Little Mulberry River. Captain Boyd said a communication tower lost contact with the plane at 2:14p.m. when radar picked up a high rate of descent.  

According to the sheriff's office, two people were on board the single engine plane which was headed for Oklahoma.  Crews searched the ground on foot.  Teams are looking based on specific coordinates in the wooded areas.  They did not send helicopters up because of weather conditions.   Arkansas State Police are on standby.
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