UPDATE: Body of missing student pilot found - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Body of missing student pilot found

Posted: Updated:

BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- Bradley County Fire and Rescue Officials confirm they have located a the body of a student pilot who fell from an aircraft.

WRCB has a reporter on the scene and is working to get more information.

The missing pilot's instructor managed to land the single engine plane safely, after the aircraft went into a nose dive.

Authorities say the pilot fell some 2,500 feet from a two-seater plane.

"The people inside the plane were not wearing seat belts," EMA director, Troy Spence says. "So when they lost control of the plane, in an attempt to regain control of the plane, the passenger was ejected."

The co-pilot was taking lessons from a more-experienced pilot when the plane took a nose dive.

"Had some kind of malfunction with the plane and had a rapid decent," says Spence.

The instructor was able to gain control and safely land at the Collegedale Municipal Airport, about eight miles from where his co-pilot likely fell.

Bradley County search teams focused on the area near Weatherly Switch Road.

"Due to GPS coordinates and pinging of the cell phone, this incident is in Bradley County," Collegedale officer Melvin Taylor says. "Those emergency personnel are on the ground looking for the party."

According to flight aware records, the Zodiac 601 belonged to 82-year-old Clarence Andrews, who built it.
 
Andrews died last December in a plane crash not far from the Collegedale airport.

His family sold the aircraft to the student pilot earlier this month.

"I would think that it's probably a recovery at this point, but we are taking it very seriously and we're going to do everything we can," says Spence.

Bradley County search teams stayed out overnight looking for the missing pilot.

Officials are working to notify his family members before releasing his name.

The FAA and NTSB have both been notified and will arrive this weekend to investigate.

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