A pilot, who has yet to be identified, was killed when his Cessna plane was discovered in the marsh waters in the vicinity of Carr’s Neck Road on Dec. 21.
According to Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes, the pilot is a resident of McIntosh County. Sikes said several members of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and Liberty County Fire Services waded through the woods and marsh waters to recover the body of the pilot who was initially reported missing by family members shortly after 8 p.m. Sunday Dec. 20.
The investigation and recovery process began shortly after 1:30 p.m. Dec. 21, when an aircraft flying over Liberty County spotted what appeared to be a wing and tail from the plane in the marsh waters, according to Liberty County Fire Services Chief, Brian Darby.
The pilot who spotted the wreckage, notified authorities. Darby said that set-off a search for the downed Cessna.
With little to no information on where to start their search, authorities scoured the woods and marsh waters off Islands Highway. After a lengthy search they discovered the plane several miles from Carr’s Neck Creek Road.
In order to reach the wreckage first responders had to wade through the marsh waters on foot as well as using all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). When they reached the plane they discovered the sole pilot, who was still in the cockpit of the craft.
The pilot was carefully placed into the rear of one of the ATV’s and transported to a dirt road where Liberty County Coroner, Reginald Pierce pronounced him deceased.
Had the other pilot not spotted the wreck from the air Darby said it may have taken much longer to realize where the plane had crashed.
Darby said he was unable to comment on the cause of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will be leading the investigation as of Dec. 22.