Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wreckage of Missing Plane from Jacksonville Found in Tennessee; No Survivors among the Reported 3 People on Board, Authorities Say

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wreckage of Missing Plane from Jacksonville Found in Tennessee; No Survivors among the Reported 3 People on Board, Authorities Say

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Daraskevich

The wreckage of a small plane that left the Jacksonville area Monday with three people on board was found in the Tennessee wilderness Tuesday afternoon, according to the National Parks Service.

There were no survivors in the wreck. The three people on board were 41-year-old David Starling, his 8-year-old son Hunter and 42-year-old Kim Smith, but authorities have not identified the bodies found at the crash site. They are from Bradford County.

The plane was found on an unnamed ridge between Cole Creek and Bearpen Hollow Branch in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A single Blackhawk helicopter was able to fly over the rough terrain and spotted the wreckage along the last known flight path of the plane.

Recovery efforts will begin Wednesday.

Authorities started searching for a Cessna 182 aircraft near the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport after receiving word Monday night from family that the plane didn't arrive when expected, said Kathleen Bergen, spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

She said the plane left Jacksonville on Monday with three people on board, but it's unclear which airport it departed from. The FAA issued an alert Monday night advising local law enforcement and U.S. National Park Service members that the Cessna 182 went missing about 15 miles south-southeast of the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport, Bergen said.

A flight plan associated with the plane was never submitted in the Jacksonville area, said Michael Stewart, spokesman for the Jacksonville Aviation Authority. He said it's possible the plane stopped for fuel in Jacksonville on the way to Tennessee.

The FAA will release the aircraft registration once the plane is located and the people on board have been identified, Bergen said.

Although authorities have not released the names of the three people on board, several Facebook posts asking for prayers circulated on the internet Tuesday.

One post shared on the page for the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in High Springs announced a night of prayer Tuesday for members of the community holding out hope the three people would be found alive. …

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