SOUTH HAVEN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Two men were killed in a plane crash near South Haven Tuesday morning that was not discovered for about 24 hours, police say.
The South Haven Police Department said the Federal Aviation Administration reported that a plane, a twin-engine Aerostar 600, left the South Haven Regional Airport between 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. Tuesday and there was no contact with anyone since.
“Indications are that the airplane crashed shortly after it left,” SHPD Chief Natalie Thompson said.
But no one realized it right away, she said. On Tuesday evening, when family realized they had not heard from the men, they called air traffic control, who then called the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA called in local police around 11:30 p.m.
Around 7 a.m. Wednesday, Thompson said, a Michigan State Police aviation unit spotted the plane in some woods about a mile north of the airport near the intersection of 72nd Street and 12th Avenue in South Haven Township.
Both men who died were 70 years old — one was from the Lawton area and the other from the Wayland area. Their names were were expected to be released Wednesday evening.
The National Transportation Safety Board and FAA will investigate what caused to the crash. There was no immediate sign of the plane catching fire or an explosion, Thompson said.
“We’re believing that is why no one heard the crash or called it in. It wasn’t visible, it apparently wasn’t heard by anyone,” she said.
Thompson said family told investigators that one of the men was certifying the other on how to fly the Aerostar 600, which the other man recently bought. Both were experienced pilots.