Missing plane is found near Ironton, Mo.
April 2, 2011
IRONTON, Mo. • The single-engine aircraft that went missing on Sunday has been found, officials said Saturday.
The wreckage was discovered about eight miles southeast of Ironton in Madison County, Mo. Ironton is about 75 miles south of St. Louis.
Officials did not disclose whether there were any survivors. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.
The Missouri wing of the Civil Air Patrol aircrews had been scouring the region all week, after the Piper Lance disappeared from radar early Sunday morning near Doniphan, while traveling from Arkansas to Wisconsin.
The search covered 5,100 square miles and lasted about 100 hours.
Late Wednesday, a person living near the crash site told authorities that they were awakened early Sunday by the sound of a low-flying plane. It was around the time the Piper Lance went missing.
A Wisconsin radio station has reported that an Eau Claire, Wisc., businesswoman was on board the plane.
Lt. Col. Randy Fuller, the mission coordinator for the Civil Air Patrol, said that tip allowed them to narrow their search. Fuller said the Madison County sheriff's office verified the wreckage about midnight Friday.
Crews had to chop down trees and battle rough terrain to reach the plane. Vehicles could not get through, so the searchers ultimately ended up hiking two miles, Fuller said.
Debris from the wreckage was discovered just before midnight about eight miles southeast of Ironton, Missouri near Farmington.
Officials at the scene say there are no survivors.
They say there were three people on board the plane. It's unclear if they died on impact.
Investigators also say they don't know what caused the plane to crash.
Officials had been searching for the plane since last Sunday when it disappeared during a flight from Arkansas to Wisconsin.
Officials are not saying who was on board.
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