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Plane crash kills Jesup businessman

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POSTED: December 12, 2012 8:55 a.m.

VALDOSTA — Authorities in Lowndes County have identified and recovered the body of a pilot whose small plane crashed in southern Georgia.

Rick Poppell, of Jesup, died when his plane crashed Monday night in the Lake Park area, said Chris Prine, Lowndes County Sheriff.

Officials Tuesday said Poppell, 52, was the owner of Poppell's Produce, in Jesup. Lowndes County Deputy Coroner William Carter said Poppell's body was recovered around 11:45 a.m.

Poppell left the Valdosta Regional Airport at 8:30 p.m. Monday and told authorities by radio he was having some type of problem, authorities said.

The Federal Aviation Administration had issued an alert for a missing single-engine Diamond Aircraft DA 40 in the Valdosta-Lake Park area, FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen told The Associated Press.

Poppell was the only person on board, Bergen said.

Georgia Highway Patrol officials told the FAA that the wreckage was spotted from the air around 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, after a search of the area, Bergen said.

The terrain in the area is rugged, and crews on the ground were attempting to reach the site around mid-day Tuesday, authorities said.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Lake Park is about 13 miles southeast of Valdosta and just north of the Georgia-Florida line.


Updated at 1:40 p.m. Tuesday

VALDOSTA, Ga. — The wreckage of a small plane that crashed in south Georgia with one person on board has been spotted from the air, and crews were trying to reach the crash scene, authorities said.

The plane crashed Monday night in the Lake Park area, Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine told WALB-TV.

The pilot left the Valdosta Regional Airport at 8:30 p.m. Monday and told authorities by radio he was having some type of problem, authorities said.

The Federal Aviation Administration had issued an alert for a missing single-engine Diamond Aircraft DA 40 in the Valdosta-Lake Park area, FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen told The Associated Press.

One person was on board, Bergen said. The pilot's name was not immediately released.

Georgia Highway Patrol officials told the FAA that the wreckage was spotted around 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, after a search of the area, Bergen said.

The terrain in the area is rugged, and crews on the ground were attempting to reach the site around mid-day Tuesday, authorities said.

Lake Park is about 13 miles southeast of Valdosta and just north of the Georgia-Florida line.

Original story:

VALDOSTA — Authorities say a search is on for the wreckage of a small plane that crashed in south Georgia.

Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine tells WALB-TV (http://bit.ly/ZaGguO) that the plane crashed Monday night in Lake Park. WTOC television in Savannah report the pilot was Rick Poppell, owner of Poppell's Produce of Jesup.

Authorities say the pilot left the Valdosta Regional Airport at 8:30 p.m. Monday and told authorities by radio that he was having some type of problems.

About 50 people were searching in the Twin Lakes area on Tuesday, and a Georgia State Patrol helicopter was called to assist them in those efforts.

It was not immediately known how many people were aboard the small plane.

Lake Park is about 13 miles southeast of Valdosta and just north of the Georgia-Florida line.

 

 

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