Plane bound for Miss. crashes in Leslie Co.

Number of people aboard, fates unknown

kward1@herald-leader.comApril 28, 2010 

Emergency workers spent Tuesday evening in a remote part of Leslie County where a plane went down earlier in the day.

The plane, which had been traveling from Frederick, Md., to Olive Branch, Miss., was found just after 5:30 p.m., but it took rescue crews hours to get to the scene. The plane was spotted by Civil Air Patrol workers.

Leslie County emergency dispatcher Mike Lewis said two people were thought to be on board, but it was not known for certain how many people were on the plane or whether they survived the crash.

"The coroner is en route," he said just before 9 p.m. "They haven't told us of any survivors. They even sent the ambulance back."

Because of the rugged terrain, rescue workers had to use four-wheelers and chain saws to get to the site, state police dispatcher Jeff Adams said.

"There's nothing there but mountains," Adams said of the spot where the plane went down, which is between Chandler Branch and Ulysses Creek roads.

The site is near the Sizerock community, just inside the Leslie County line.

Air traffic controllers lost contact with the Hawker Beechcraft 58 just before 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, said Kathleen Bergen, spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration Southern Region.

At that time, it was flying at 2,500 feet about 15 miles southwest of Hazard.

The plane is registered to Island Trading Ltd. of Woodbine, Md. It was built in 1981, FAA records show. Bergen said the FAA's Louisville office would send representatives.

The National Transportation Safety Board will be in charge of the investigation.

The plane left Maryland for Mississippi at 10:24 a.m. EDT and was scheduled to take off for a return flight at 4:10 p.m. CDT, according to FlightAware.com.

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