It was supposed to be a time of love and celebration with his family.
Instead, Cory Plotner tells NewsChannel 3 that on his wedding day he was left searching for his family in the Great Dismal Swamp.
Cory says his two aunts; sisters Mary Anne Bradshaw and Diane Rodd were flying up from Florida with their husbands; Ted Bradshaw and Charles Rodd.
Cory says Ted was the pilot, who was a retired fire captain with 30 years of flying experience. His uncle was a meticulous pilot, known to triple check everything before taking off, Cory says.
Cory, who spoke to NewsChannel 3 over the phone, says he was at the airport to pick them up Thursday, when he was told the plane’s signal was lost.
Just minutes before, Cory says his Aunt Diane had texted him, saying they were about to land.
Cory says he was married a few hours later. Right after the ceremony, along with his new bride, Cory says they joined the search and rescue parties Thursday night.
The Cessna was spotted the next day by a volunteer helicopter pilot. When he found out the news, Cory says it was devastating. He says he was closest with his Aunt Diane. He says he couldn’t believe her life was ripped away at such a young age.
Though the plane was found, the bodies and wreckage were in such a remote area that crews had to clear a path so four-wheelers could reach the site.
By Monday morning, all four bodies were recovered. By Monday afternoon, the last pieces of wreckage were hauled away. The twisted and mangled plane parts are a glimpse of just how bad the crash must have been.
State Police say finding out the cause of the crash will have to wait until the government shutdown ends. Police say the wreckage will be kept in storage until investigators from the NTSB and FAA can come back to work.
Cory wanted to thank the dozens of volunteers who came out to search for his aunts and uncles. He says it truly was a blessing to see so many come together to help his family.