A small, single-engine plane went down near Huntsville, Arkansas, killing both pilot and passenger.
The Piper Saratoga was piloted by Ivan Williams, the CEO of Williams Construction Company in Pryor, Oklahoma. His passenger was wife Adina Williams. Ivan Williams had told air-traffic controllers that his plane was experiencing difficulties, before going silent.Tthe plane was losing altitude while traveling at about 170 miles per hour.
That was the last that was heard from Ivan and Adina Williams.
Flight information shows that the Saratoga left Sylacauga, Alabama, a little after 11 a.m., and was scheduled to arrive in Claremore, Oklahoma at about 2:50 p.m. Federal Aviation Administration records show that the plane is registered to Airmart Aircraft Holdings Inc. of Kernersville, North Carolina. Yet, KFSM reported that Airmart officials said the plane had been sold last month, adding that the government shutdown might have caused FAA record updating to be delayed, the station reported.
The Arkansas Wing of Civil Air Patrol began searching for the aircraft and found it in a remote area near Huntsville, about 60 miles northeast of Fort Smith.
Glenn Wheeler, with Tri-County Search and Rescue, said, "The wreckage was scattered over a couple hundred yards. They crashed into a wooded area. It would have been really hard to spot from the air, because it was in small pieces."
Ivan was well-known throughout the community of Pryor - he was the father of four, and employed more than 100 workers at Williams Construction. The Williams family had the Centennial Park to Pryor, and there plaques that commemorate other members of the Williams family.
In related news, just last week, a plane went down in Laos, killing all 44 passengers on board. Among those killed were five Thai citizens, three South Korean officials, and seven French citizens.
Image via Wikimedia Commons.