(heartlandconnection.com) Two people are confirmed dead after a single-engine plane crashed in northeast Missouri Tuesday evening on its final approach into Kirksville Regional Airport.
The wreckage of the Piper PA-32 was barely visible in the rainy darkness.
The small aircraft with two people onboard went down in a rural area about three miles southeast of Kirksville.
The cockpit portion of plane the came to rest not far off of Quail Lane between Foxtrot Lane and Hedgepath Lane.
Airport Director Glenn Balliew said the plane's wreckage was scattered along a 300-yard path through a pasture, a wooded area and a bean field.
The bodies of the two victims were found in a ditch not far from the cockpit.
The Federal Aviation Administration told KTVO the last radar and radio contact with the aircraft was around 7:15 p.m. Tuesday when the plane was five miles from the airport making its final approach.
The FAA says the aircraft had taken off from Centennial Airport in Denver earlier in the day Tuesday.
It's destination was Kirksville.
Federal investigators will be making their way to the scene.
"We're going to secure the scene,â€ť said Robert Hardwick, Adair County sheriff. â€śNTSB and FAA will be here tomorrow (Wednesday), and then it's going to be an extensive investigation, and we would ask that the public stay out of this area, you know, don't try and come into the area and look and things of this nature because we are going to be doing a lot of things that we have to take care of here."
Investigators said it doesn't appear there was any fire associated with the crash.
It is not clear at this time if weather conditions played a role.
The names of the two men onboard have not been released yet pending the notification of their families.
They were pronounced dead at the scene shortly after midnight by Adair County Coroner Brian Noe.
Autopsies are planned on the two.
Multiple agencies assisted in the two-hour search for the downed plane including the Adair County Sheriffâ€™s Office, Kirksville Police Department, Kirksville Regional Airport as well as various area fire departments.