DUPLIN COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The pilot of a downed single engine aircraft has been identified.
According to an unnamed source, Luke Parker's military ID information was found at the crash sight. He was flying a SWP 149D Focke Wulf aircraft, tail # N132FW.
The search for Parker's body and aircraft, however, was a puzzle for several Emergency Management Services.
Pender, Sampson, Wayne and Duplin Counties were all considered "pings" or possible locations for the downed plane.
After narrowing down the search area, Duplin County Emergency Management Director Reid Sutherland confirms both the plane wreckage and body of the pilot were found in a heavily wooded area in Kenansville.
Sutherland says they found a wing from the plane, then followed the trail of wreckage until they found the rest of the plane including Parker.
Sutherland said the plane's beacon went off in an area that is two miles from an airport runway in Kenansville.
According to Pender Emergency Management Director Tom Collins, the plane's beacon also gave off a signal in a wooded area near Crooked Run Road in Willard. However, crews in Pender County searched there and didn't find anything. They called off that search at 5:00 p.m. Monday.
According to Collins, a flight plan was submitted showing the plane was supposed to leave Sunday from Onslow County to Michigan. The FAA, however, says the pilot did not file a flight plan or receive air traffic control service.
At this time we know the North Carolina Highway Patrol is taking over securing the aircraft until the NTSB can send out investigators to figure out what caused the crash. The FAA has also been contacted to investigate the crash.
There are no details about why the plane crashed. Check back for more information as it becomes available.