Father and son die after plane crashes near Festus airport

FESTUS, Mo. - Crystal City Police say that a small airplane has crashed near the Festus Memorial Airport.   A  father and son died in this accident.  They have not yet been identified.

The plane was registered in Collins, New York. The Vice President of the Festus airport says they had just bought an older plane from New York to bring it back to the area to restore. The father was very active in the local aviation community.

Electrical issues were reported before the plane went down.  The pilot asked the airport for assistance at around midnight. The plane crashed at around 2:00am and was discovered at around 7:40am.

Jefferson County Sheriff Dave Marshak says that the pilot the aircraft reportedly lost electrical power. Someone on the airplane asked his fiancé by text message to stand at the runway with a flashlight. The Festus Airport lights were not on. Contact was lost after the pilot attempted to land the plane.

The airport lights are activated remotely by a pilot.  Because the airplane's electrical power was down they were not able to turn on the lights at the small airport.

The crash is just south of the airport.  It appears the plane attempted to make more than one a landing before eventually crashing near a stream.  The pilot was very experienced. He was a retired or current commercial airline pilot.

The fiancé says plane was owned by another family member and been in the family for more than 40 years.

Searchers discovered the crash site Friday morning. Police say that they are investigating the crash site as a crime scene.

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