FAA: 2 people killed in plane crash, flight from Knoxville to Bloomington, Indiana


UNICOI COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Search crews are back on Buffalo Mountain in Unicoi County, Tennessee where a small plane carrying two people crashed in bad weather Friday night.

The first photos of the crash site were released Saturday night.   

The FAA told News Channel 11 a Lancair COL4 or Cessna 400 aircraft crashed as it was flying from Knoxville, TN to Bloomington, Indiana.    Local authorities so far haven’t identified the people killed in the crash.

But, officials with a company in Bloomington, Indiana have identified one of their vice presidents and his daughter as the two people killed in the crash.

A spokesperson for Cook Medical released the following statement: “Our hearts are heavy today as we learned about the passing of our friend and coworker. Last night, Bill Gibbons, our vice president of engineering, and his daughter were involved in a plane crash near Knoxville, TN. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gibbons family.”

Local authorities have not confirmed the identities of the two people on board.

Multiple witnesses said they saw a bright flash of light and heard a crashing sound as a plane plunged from the sky during a storm that moved through the area right around dusk.

Authorities quickly set up a command post at the Town of Unicoi’s Visitor Center.   A THP helicopter helped ground crews locate the wreckage.   Search efforts were hampered by bad weather and poor visibility.  Just before midnight, Unicoi County crews found the wreckage and secured the scene during the overnight hours.   Washington County, Tennessee crews joined the effort Saturday morning.

Unicoi County EMA director Ed Herndon said the FAA told him flight controllers lost contact with a single engine 4-seater plane just northwest of the town of Unicoi, TN near the Fire Tower.

News Channel 11’s Jordan Moore reports a new command post was established Saturday morning off Dry Creek Road.   Investigators with the NTSB and FAA were on their way to the crash site.  ETSU’s forensics investigation team came to investigate as well.

This is a developing story.  Look for updates throughout the day.Copyright 2015 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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