FRANKLIN, N.C. — Search crews have found the wreckage of a single-engine plane that left Knoxville's Island Home Airport on Thursday night, but didn't arrive at its destination in Aiken, South Carolina, a news release from Macon County Emergency Management said Friday.
Authorities said the pilot was the only person on board and he did not survive the crash. Authorities identified him as Gary Huttleston of Aiken, S.C.
The plane was found by search teams in a rugged area of southern Jackson County, N.C. south of Whiteside Mountain.
Crews from Macon and Jackson Counties in North Carolina had been looking for the single-engine plane in that area earlier Friday.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Alert Notice (ALNOT) Thursday night advising search and rescue authorities about a missing aircraft. The Mooney MO20C departed from Knoxville Downtown Airport in Tennessee at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
Air traffic controllers said they lost contact with the flight at about 6:20 p.m. Thursday when it was about 17 miles south of Macon County Airport in Franklin, North Carolina.
Recovery operations are now underway as officials investigate the cause of the crash.