Crews continue to search for plane in Brunswick - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Crews continue to search for plane in Brunswick


The NTSB and other recovery crews continue to search the Mackay River in Glynn County for a small, twin-engine plane that crashed Monday night.

Investigators said two people were on board the Piper PA-44 aircraft that was traveling from Concord, NC to Jacksonville, FL. No distress call was made and these types of planes do not have a black box.

Crews have only recovered a small amount of debris in the area of Wally's Leg. They are using sonar to detect the rest of the plane. Divers searched an area of interest along the river, but investigators have not confirmed if they found the plane.

NTSB officials said at a news conference that they are still unsure what caused the plane to crash. Even though it was windy and drizzling rain at the time of the crash, investigators do not believe weather was a factor.

Since they believe the plane to be in the river, investigators say this makes the searching conditions very difficult. The water is nearly 12 feet deep and they can only work when the tides are high. They also say the water is very murky.

"There are some reptiles out there with teeth, but it will not hinder us. We have a job to do so we will do this job as safely as we can.," said NTSB Air Safety Investigator Shawn Etcher.

WTOC spoke to neighbors who recalled the moments before the crash.

"It happened around 5:30, we had just heard an aircraft coming overhead and it sounded as though the engine just completely went out," said Kimberly Hobson.

That's when Hobson said she knew something was wrong and ran to dial 911.

"We heard it crash. Others say they heard explosions, others saw parts flying through the sky," said Hobson.

Another neighbor, whose house overlooks the marsh, described where the plane went down.

"There's an island, then there's a bigger island, and then the biggest island is beyond that," said neigbhor Howard Cookson. "I understand the plane went down on the east end of the biggest island."

Cookson said investigators have been coming and going all day, searching the marshy waters.

"Just everybody from state and county police, and even the sheriff," said Cookson.

Investigators have called off the search for the day but will resume Wednesday morning.

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