OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) –The victims involved in a deadly plane crash in Ohio County have been identified as Timothy A. McKellar Jr. and Connor W. Quisenberry.
The 22-year-old pilot and 18-year-old flight student were apart of the Eagle Flight Academy out of Owensboro and believed to be completing night flight hours.
Authorities say the plane crashed at around 11 p.m. on Wednesday night and was located, near Kentucky 764, at around 9 a.m. on Thursday morning.
The families were inside New Panther Creek Baptist Church when they received the news that their loved ones were deceased.
“The plane was located this morning around 9am by a drone. Crews were able to get an atv to confirm that the debris field was roughly half a mile from center of the crash where they located various parts of the plane. Once the crews were inside the debris field. They did located 2 bodies,” said Kentucky State Police Trooper Corey King.
A FlightAware radar shows they were traveling from Bowling Green, when a severe storm hit. Storm warnings were issued for the Whitesville area– and hail followed.
Robert Katz, a pilot and flight instructor with 42 years experience, says hail is a no-go for traveling in any aircraft.
“There is not an aircraft constructed today or ever that I know of that is built to tolerate hail of any size. Hail is stone – I mean that’s destructive to any aircraft of any size and it is something to be avoided at all cost,” said Katz.
Authorities say it was an emergency beacon that prompted the Evansville Regional Airport to alert Daviess County dispatch.
The left wing of the missing plane, along with some mechanical parts, were found across the half a mile debris field. Katz says the national transportation safety board knows what to look for to get the full picture of what occurred.
“All of this takes time. The NTSB is very good at getting to a probable cause, but we’re just gonna have to wait, probably about 2 years, to get an answer,” said Katz.
Autopsies are scheduled for Friday in Madisonville, as authorities continue to investigate to incident.