FESTUS, Mo. — A plane crash near Festus Memorial Airport killed a father and son late Thursday night, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department said.
The sheriff's department told 5 On Your Side they were contacted Thursday night after a plane was reportedly experiencing electrical problems near Festus. The plane, they added, was traveling from New York to Festus.
The initial search for the plane began Thursday night after his fiancé reported the incident, but the plane was not found until around 7 a.m. Friday morning in a wooded area Plattin Creek. An initial investigation found the plane had made one attempt at landing but crashed on its second attempt.
Sheriff Dave Marshak confirmed the father and son were the two killed in the crash. Marshak added the pilot had requested his fiancé via text message to stand at the runway with a flashlight since the runway lights were off. It was then, he said, the plane attempted to land, which is when contact was lost.
The father, who was piloting the plane, previously piloted for American Airlines, Mike Bippen, the Vice President of Festus Memorial Airport, told 5 On Your Side.
Bippen added the runway lights were out during the time of the crash due it occurring after hours. However, he added the lights can be triggered on after the pilot keys the mic a certain number of times. Bippen believed the pilot was not able to key the mic due to the electrical problems.
The plane had just been purchased prior to its takeout in New York, Bippen said. The father, whose name has not been released, was "very active" in aviation, and was believed to have purchased the plane to help teach the son how to fly.
Channel 2 News got confirmation from Sheriff Dave Marshak, of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, that the father and son picked up the plane from Buffalo.
This story will be updated.