BRADLEY COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — The body of a pilot that somehow fell from a plane over Tennessee Friday afternoon has been found.
Another pilot in the plane was able to safely land, but locating the victim was a time-consuming and difficult process for search crews.
WDEF reports that a student pilot on board the small experimental plane fell out somewhere over Bradley County during a training flight. Neither the victim nor instructor pilot were wearing seat belts.
After the student fell from the plane, the pilot was able to successfully complete an emergency landing at Collegedale airport.
“The plane did take a nose dive, it was going out of control the pilot was able to regain control of the plane and did land here,” said Melvin Taylor, a Collegdale police officer.
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Crews spearheaded the search from a farm on Weatherly Switch Road, where one resident said they heard a low flying plane. More than 60 people searched the woods before nightfall.
“When it gets night here, it’ll slow the search down because we’ll have to be closer together and we’ll be running slower. And if it rains, we have to deal with that element as well,” Bradley County EMA Interim Fire Chief Troy Spence said.
Crews said debris from inside the plan they found scattered in the area helped them narrow the search.
WDEF reports the pilot’s body was discovered a half block from the Maroon Branch Fire Station around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.
“They found him in a tree line, not too far off the road,” about a half-mile from a volunteer fire station, Bob Gault, a spokesperson for the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, said.
The victim’s name has not yet been released.