Kalitta Air charter plane crashes in Iosco County

 Photo from Oscoda Township Police Department.
Photo from Oscoda Township Police Department. (WJRT)
Published: Sep. 25, 2018 at 12:35 PM EDT
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(9/25/2018) - Authorities are investigating a plane crash near the former Oscoda-Wurtsmith Air Force Base northwest of Tawas.

The Michigan State Police say the Kalitta Air twin-engine propeller 10-seat charter plane was expected to arrive at the Oscoda air strip around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, but it never landed.

The plane took off from Kalitta's headquarters at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti. Air traffic control radar last showed the plane making a rapid descent.

Kalitta Air is a worldwide charter and air cargo business with permanent operations at the Oscoda Wurtsmith Airport.

Michigan State Police Sgt. Pete McNamara told the Associated Press runway lights were activated at the airport by the pilot but no plane landed.

The Federal Aviation Administration contacted Iosco County 911 Central Dispatch about the missing plane around 7:30 a.m.

Police and fire crews spent hours searching for the missing plane before ground crews spotted the wreckage in a wooded area of Iosco County's Wilber Township around 10:30 a.m.

U.S. Air Force surveillance officers were able to ping the location of the plane to narrow the search area for rescuers on the ground.

A fire after the crash consumed most of the wreckage.

FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro told the Associated Press that the wreckage is a Beechcraft Super King Air BE20. The wreckage is about four miles from the Oscoda-Wurtsmith airfield.

Police believe only the pilot, a 33-year-old man from Orlando, Florida, was on board the aircraft. As of the early afternoon, investigators had not located the pilot or a body.

The FAA has launched an investigation into the crash, which likely will take several months to complete.