A student pilot and their instructor have been killed in a plane that crashed during a severe thunderstorm in Kentucky.
A single-engine Piper PA-28 crashed late Wednesday near Whitesville, about 95 southwest of Louisville, the Federal Aviation Administration told USA TODAY.
Dispatchers got a report from the Evansville Airport Control Tower of a plane crash around 11 p.m., the Ohio County Sheriff's Office reported.
Officials had been searching for the plane by air and on foot and had hoped to find the student pilot and their instructor alive.
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FAA officials told USA TODAY that local authorities found the wreckage of the missing plane at 5:35 a.m. Thursday and confirmed that two people on board were killed.
Their names were not immediately released.
The cause of the crash is under investigation by the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board.
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Pilots were headed to Owensboro
Local officials said the pilots were on the way to Owensboro from Bowling Green and lost contact with a communication tower before the plane went down.
Officials used information from the flight path, pings from one of the pilot’s cell phones, and the Life360 app to determine where to search. Drones and an airplane were launched to search and the plane was found behind a church.
Officials from the Kentucky State Police, Daviess County Fire Department, Whitesville Fire Department, and Daviess County and Ohio County emergency services responded to the scene.
This story may be updated.
Natalie Neysa Alund is a senior reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter @nataliealund. Contact reporter Rae Johnson at RNJohnson@gannett.com.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Kentucky plane crash during storm kills student pilot, instructor