Second body found in aircraft, pilot still missing

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Second body found in aircraft, pilot still missing
A crane lifting the plane from the waters adjacent to Cyril E King airport. Photo credit: The St. Thomas Source and Government House
A crane lifting the plane from the waters adjacent to Cyril E King airport. Photo credit: The St. Thomas Source and Government House

US Virgin Islands – A second body has been found aboard the Piper Aztec aircraft that crashed in the US Virgin Islands just over a week ago.

The St. Thomas Source is reporting that a crane lifted the bodies of Rachel Hamilton and Darwin Carr from waters adjacent to Cyril E. King Airport runway today (October 21).

Earlier reports indicated that the plane was spotted yesterday with one body aboard. However, when the aircraft was fully removed from the waters a second body also emerged.

Pilot Kirby Hodge is still missing.

The lone survivor, Valerie Jackson Thompson, was pulled from the water about nine hours after the plane crashed on October 13 during one of its usual newspaper delivery trips between St. Croix and St. Thomas.

On Thursday, the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Team in Florida provided local authorities with radar coordinates that were very instrumental in locating the plane early yesterday afternoon.

A search team found the aircraft after spotting oil sheen on the water relatively close to where the crash took place.

According to the St. Thomas Source, “the aircraft was lying on its roof with one wing separated, but the fuselage generally intact”.

It took the search team several hours to remove the plane, using an inflatable air-bag device as well as the crane.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Why it took them so long to find the aircraft...when it was so close to the airport? It will surely bring closure to the families!

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