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2 bodies were found in a search for a pilot instructor and a student in a downed plane

(WISH Photo, File)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Crews who were searching a heavily wooded area for a plane that went down during a severe storm with an instructor and a student pilot have found two bodies, Kentucky State Police said.

The bodies were found Thursday morning after a drone located a debris field, Trooper Corey King said in a tweet. Kentucky State Police and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating, King said.

Pilot Timothy A. McKellar Jr., 22, of Custer, and flight student Connor W. Quisenberry, 18, of Beaver Dam, died in the crash, Ohio County Coroner Elvis Doolin told news outlets.

The plane was reported missing late Wednesday when it lost communication with an airport control tower during a severe storm, Ohio County Sheriff Adam Wright said in a statement. The instructor and student pilot were flying from Bowling Green to Owensboro when they lost contact with the control tower in Evansville, Indiana, Wright said.

An initial search centered around the Daviess-Ohio county line, but moved into Ohio County after storms moved out of the area and a plane and drones were launched to help search efforts, Wright said. The search then centered behind New Panther Creek Church in Ohio County where paperwork associated with an aircraft was located in a heavily wooded area, the sheriff said.

Wright told the Daily News that the plane departed from Owensboro and completed a touchdown in Bowling Green before heading back and getting caught in a thunderstorm.

“We cannot confirm whether the storm played a vital role in the crash,” King said. “However, we can conclude at this point that likely was the reasoning for the plane going down.”