FAA To Investigate Festus Plane Crash Tuesday

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FESTUS, MO (KTVI) – Investigators want to know why a plane crashed in Festus, Missouri, Monday evening.  The pilot and his adult son were onboard.

An official with the Festus Airport said the pilot is Jim Smith, 65.  His passenger was his son, Kristopher Smith, 40.

As of 7:00am Tuesday, officials at Mercy Medical Center said Jim was in satisfactory condition, but his son was in serious condition at the time.

This all started at the Festus Airport with a Monday evening flight.  The two men took off around 6:30 p.m.  It ended in a field on Plattin Road near Route 61, also in Festus.  Deputies with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department said before the small plane crashed, Jim called his wife.

"We received a call to 911 dispatch center, a female had called stating that her husband was piloting a small plane, was having problems with his aircraft. The plane did go down,” said Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy Captain Ron Arnhart.

Authorities said deputies, Festus firefighters, even a medical helicopter from Survival Flight, Inc. frantically searched for the two men.

“The pilot did assist,” Arnhart explained.  “We had an officer was able to talk to the pilot on the phone, who assisted, and bring the searchers, to their location."

That is when the medical helicopter was finally able to airlift the two men almost 40 miles away to Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur.

The FAA is expected to go to the scene later Tuesday to find out why the small plane crashed.

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