CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) - The wreckage of a small plane that disappeared Thursday has been located in the Great Dismal Swamp.
Search crews have been looking for a Cessna that was supposed to land at the Hampton Roads Executive Airport Thursday, coming from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport in Florida. The search concentrated on the Great Dismal Swamp, as Geller said that is the area where the airport lost the plane's signal.
Shortly after 4 p.m. Friday, Corinne Geller with the Virginia State Police said the wreckage of a small plane was located in the Great Dismal Swamp by a privately-owned helicopter assisting in the search. The plane’s location was provided to search crews, who then began making their way to the site.
According to Geller, the wreckage is in an extremely remote section of the swamp, on the Virginia side.
Crews spent Saturday clearing a path to the site of the plane. Geller said due to the condition of the wreckage, crews will attempt to remove the remains of the pilot and the passengers Sunday, along with the plane.
Lt. Curtis Hardison with the Virginia State Police said the people on board the plane that disappeared Thursday have been identified as Theodore Bradshaw, 61, Mary Ann Bradshaw, 48, Charles Rodd, 64, and Diane Rodd, 58.
Hardison said the Bradshaws and the Rodds were coming to Hampton Roads for a family wedding. The wedding was for Mary Anne Bradshaw and Diane Rodd's nephew, Cory Plotner.
"It is very difficult for any type of accident like this to occur because you're dealing with someone's family member, someone's mother, father," said Lt. Hardison.
Theodore Bradshaw was an experienced pilot with more than 30 years of experience, according to State Police.
Hardison said the wreckage is close to Martin Johnson's Road, but it will take hours to pull it out of the swamp.
"There are a lot of challenges in recovering this plane," said Lt. Hardison. "There are no roads that lead directly to it, the wreckage. It is deep into the woods at this time. It's going to take many man hours."
Crews spent Thursday and much of Friday searching on the ground and by boat in the Great Dismal Swamp area. State Police were assisted by Civil Air Patrol, Tidewater Search and Rescue personnel, Chesapeake Fire and rescue, and state park rangers.
The National Transportation Safety Board will assist State Police in the investigation. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Family members of the victims told WAVY.com they want to thank all the volunteers and rescue personnel who aided in the search.
Stay with WAVY.com for any new information.
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