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FIRST ON 3: Crews find missing plane, pilot dead inside

KENANSVILLE, NC (WWAY) — After crews in Pender County searched all day Monday for a single engine plane that went missing on Sunday authorities have found the plane in Duplin County.

According to Duplin County Emergency Manager Reid Sutherland search and rescue crews found the wreckage around 10 p.m. on Monday night.

According to Sutherland crews used an emergency locator beacon to narrow their search down to roughly a two-mile area north of the Duplin County Airport in Kenansville.

Search and rescue crews then focused their efforts on a heavily wooded swamp about a half mile off of Doctor Williams Road and Best Road.

Sutherland says crews were able to follow a debris trail to locate the fuselage where the pilot was found dead inside.

Earlier Monday officials searched an area in Pender County for the plane after emergency beacons originally placed the plane in that area.

Officials say the plane left Albert Ellis Airport in Jacksonville Sunday morning and was headed to Michigan.

Officials are not releasing the pilot’s name but they say he is in the military and his family has already been notified.

(Photo courtesy of WTVD)

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