Experienced Pilot Killed in Michigan Plane Crash

BELLAIRE, Mich. -- Authorities identified a pilot killed in an Antrim County plane crash as Roger W. Crawford, 68, of Mancelona.

Crawford was reported missing by family on Thanksgiving Day after he failed to show up at a gathering in Frankfort. Antrim County sheriff's deputies went to his home in the Lakes of the North community Thursday evening and could not find him.

Family members then told authorities Crawford was a pilot and he may have gone flying. On Friday morning, a thorough search of the area turned up the wreckage of Crawford's Cessna 310B aircraft near Crooked Lake Road, off of Highway C-38.

Crawford was dead at the scene.

"Mr. Crawford was an experienced pilot with many years of commercial flight time," Antrim County Sheriff Daniel Bean said in a statement.

A spokesman with the Federal Aviation Administration said Crawford was flying from Gaylord to Cadillac at the time of the crash. It was not clear how his plane ended up in Antrim County, or if Thursday's heavy winds could have played a role. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the incident.

Copyright 2012 - The Record-Eagle, Traverse City, Mich.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service