A plane first thought to have crashed in Sampson County was found later in the evening some 20 miles away, near the Duplin County Airport. The pilot, who is believed to have taken off from the Jacksonville airport on Sunday, did not survive the crash.
Emergency responders briefly searched the immediate area of Harmony Church Road in Sampson Count6y for the wreckage that was reported as potentially being in the area.
Ron Bass, director of Sampson County Emergency Management Services, said they received the call about the crash at around 4:45 p.m. The local responders stayed in the area of Harmony Church Road until 6:15 p.m.
“A beacon signal for the downed aircraft was indicated as being around Harmony Church Road,” said Bass in a phone interview Tuesday. The responders on the scene had a conference call with the state Civil Air Patrol who told them that a stronger signal was located in Duplin County. This conference call took place after a helicopter flew over the area of Harmony Church Road around 6 p.m. without finding the wreckage.
Reid Sutherland with the Duplin County Emergency Management Office said crews found debris from the plane late Monday night in a wooded area near Kenansville.
The missing pilot was found in the wreckage. Officials have not yet released the identity of the pilot but say he was in the military.
Officials say the pilot was flying the Focke-Wulf 149 to Detroit when he took off Sunday.
The National Transportation Safety Board was in Duplin Tuesday investigating the crash. No other details were available at this time.
Independent staff writer Emily M. Hobbs contributed to this article. She can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 122 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org