Pilot found dead after Cessna 172 crash in Nebraska

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   Jan. 4, 2016 at 10:55 AM

OMAHA, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- The pilot of a Cessna 172 was found dead early Monday morning after a crash initially attributed to heavy fog was discovered near Wayne, Neb.

A five-hour search was conducted Sunday night after the plane was overdue and went off radar. It was previously being diverted toward Wayne County's Stan Morris Field Airport between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. due to unsafe weather conditions and low visibility.

The plane departed from Columbia, Miss., and its intended final destination was Sioux City, Iowa.

"The plane just went off the radar screen, and we want to know why it happened -- why it went off screen," Tom Becker, manager of the Stan Morris Field Airport, told KETV. "Fog and low visibility were the reasons for the diversion and it moved in pretty fast."

The search was conducted by the Wayne Volunteer Fire Department, Nebraska Highway Patrol, Wayne County Sheriff's Office -- also assisted by surrounding communities.

The Federal Aviation Administration is set to being an investigation into the crash Monday. The pilot's identity has not been released, pending notification of relatives.

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