Update:Officials say that due to the condition of the wreckage, crews will attempt to remove the remains of the pilot and his three passengers, along with the plane on October 14, 2013.
Officials say the wreckage of a small plane was spotted in the Great Dismal Swamp on the Virginia side just after 4 p.m. on Friday.
A privately owned helicopter helped crews with the search and saw the plane and notified police.
Now four victims have been identified.
Police say the victims are Theodore Bradshaw, 61, and Mary Ann Bradshaw, 48, of Fort Lauderdale. They also identified Charles Rodd, 64, and Diane Rodd, 58, of Palm Beach.
They say the four of them were going to Theodore’s nephew’s wedding. The plane was found a half-mile from their last reported location. The bodies still have not been pulled from the wreckage yet.
Officials say Theodore had over 30 years of flight experience.
“We want to express our sincere appreciation to Hampton Roads Helicopters for their critical assistance with this search mission,” said Lt. Curtis Hardison, Virginia State Police Chesapeake Division. “They not only supplied us with the necessary aerial support we needed to expedite this search operation, but provided two hours of flight time free of charge. Their generosity also helped bring closure to the families of those who lost their lives in this tragic crash.”
Crews were able to reach the crash site by 6:30 p.m. on Friday. This area has now been secured. The site cannot be reached by vehicle so Dismal Swamp Canal Park officials will be using a bulldozer to clear a path for 4-wheel drive vehicles to be able to use the site in the morning.
The FAA and the NTSB have been notified.
The cause of the crash is still being investigated.
Chesapeake, Va. – Crews are now searching for a missing plane that was supposed to land at the Hampton Roads Executive Airport on Thursday.They say the plane was en-route from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Virginia State Police were notified at 4:15 p.m.
According to the FAA, there has been no confirmed crash. They say the Cesna did not land at the expected destination.
Crews are now searching the Great Dismal Swamp area. Due to the weather, aerial search efforts are suspended, but they are still searching on the ground and by boat. Personnel and canine teams are searching on foot.
Nothing has been found yet and officials say they have not received any reports from the public.
Right now crews are working around the clock to find the plane. Civil Air Patrol, Tidewater Search and Rescue personnel, Chesapeake Fire and Rescue and state park rangers are all helping State Police.
“We have teams out in the woods, we have dogs, we have teams in the water, the only piece of the puzzle that we lack here is to use aviation for the aerial coverage of the area,” Captain Robert Chappell of the Virginia State police says.
There are heat sensors on the planes that can find wreckage even in the dark.
“But we could not fly last night so therefore we did not have that capability and until the weather breaks for us, we won’t be able to use aviation assets,” says Chappell.
If you’ve seen the aircraft or have any information that could help crews locate it, please call Virginia State Police at 1-800-582-8350.
We’ll continue to post updates as we learn more.