WEINER — Two men died Monday in a rural, northwest Poinsett County plane crash, authorities say.
Local dispatchers received a call just before 9:45 a.m. that a plane crashed in a field just off Flag Slough Lane, according to a press release. Several agencies, including the Poinsett and Jackson County sheriff’s offices, Weiner Fire & Rescue, responded to the scene, Sheriff Kevin Molder said.
Civilians also helped law enforcement navigate through the muddy field, he said.
“Emergency responders discovered a twin-engine plane. … We have contacted the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board),” Sheriff Kevin Molder wrote in a press release.
FAA public affairs specialist Elizabeth Cory said law enforcement agents “found a burning aircraft at approximately 10:45 a.m. local time in a wooded area.” A preliminary accident report from the FAA was unavailable Monday afternoon.
According to a FlightAware live tracker, a Beechcraft plane registered to Stratus Sales LLC flew out of Jonesboro Municipal Airport at 9:27 a.m. en route to Conway Municipal Airport. After mere minutes in the air, the tracker suggests that the plane lost altitude and speed before fatally crashing.
“The FAA will identify the aircraft type when investigators locate the identification plate,” Cory said.
Poinsett County Coroner Butch Davis said he responded to the scene and pronounced two male victims dead.
“NTSB has requested that the bodies be sent to the (state) medical examiner. ... We’re not going to release the names until they’re positively identified,” Molder said.
Under federal law, the NTSB is responsible for investigating civil aviation crashes nationwide. In a 2:10 p.m. update, Molder wrote that investigators were headed to the scene to investigate the fatal plane accident.
Sheriff’s deputies were still on the rural highway securing the scene well into Monday afternoon. Molder said the victims’ next of kin have been notified of their deaths.
“The family and friends of those who perished in this crash are in our thoughts and prayers,” he said.