BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- The preliminary report is now in for the deadly plane crash in Brunswick. The NTSB says the Piper PA-44-180 was destroyed following an " inflight breakup and subsequent impact in a waterway".
The two pilots, Andres Lopez Sr. and Adams Griffis, died and several witnesses reported hearing a thud or explosion and observed falling debris before the crash. The preliminary report says the plane was flying at 8,000 feet when the Federal Aviation Administration Jacksonville Air Traffic Control Center instructed the pilots to descend.
The command was acknowledged by the pilots, but about 4 minutes later the plane was lost off radar.
Andres Lopez Sr., 28, a Colombian citizen residing in Jacksonville and 31-year-old Adams Griffis, a Chilean citizen living in Prattville, Ala. have been identified as the men who died in the plane crash Monday.
Glynn County Police received the first of three 911 calls of a possible plane crash. The callers reported hearing and describing an apparent plane crash in the marsh area North East of the Marshes of Mckay neighborhood.
Officers responded as well as the Glynn County Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Georgia Deptartment of Natural Resources and the Georgia State Patrol. Additionally, numerous citizen volunteer pilots and staff from the Glynn County Airport Authority assisted in the search, according to a release from the Glynn County Police.
The National Transportation Safety Board confirmed that the aircraft and two bodies were recovered Thursday.
The bodies were found inside the plane and were still strapped into their seat belts, according to NTSB air safety investigator Shawn Etcher.
The aircraft was raised out of the water and lifted onto a barge just before 1 p.m. Wednesday, where the plane was identified as N923RS.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration Registry, the Piper PA-44-180 is registered to ATP Aircraft 2 LLC out of Wilmington, Delaware.
ATP Flight School has operations at Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport, where the plane was believed to be heading from Concord, North Carolina.
Tonight and on Thursday, the NTSB will be examining the aircraft to figure out what caused it to come down, said Etcher.
The bodies will be sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in Savannah to be identified.