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Two men killed in plane crash were avid fliers, detectives say they died doing what they loved

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 5:16 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - The Underwater Recovery team with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office spent several hours Monday night searching Lake Weir after a plane crashed into the water.

Tuesday morning the destroyed yellow plane was taken from the park.

It has been confirmed that the pilot, 65-year-old Joseph Hutton and his passenger, 72-year-old Scott Bingham both died as a result of the crash.

Both were Marion County residents.

Hutton was ejected from the plane before impact and received help first, but divers didn’t make it to Bingham until much later.

“This plane was sitting in about 21 feet of water so visibility from my understanding from the divers I spoke to, anywhere from six inches to a foot, and so once they get down there and things get stirred up, visibility was down to zero so it’s by touch,” MCSO Public Relations Director Sgt. Paul Bloom said.

Detectives said after speaking with family, both of these men died doing something that they loved.

During this flight officials said they were just out enjoying the day.

The Underwater Recovery team stayed at Lake Weir until just before midnight searching.

“They made the decision from a safety stand point for the diver’s safety, to bring the whole plane up with the body of the second victim still strapped inside,” Bloom added.

MCSO will investigate the deaths of the two men, while the investigation on how the plane went down will be left to the federal agencies, with the National Transportation Safety Board is taking the lead.

A NTSB representative told TV20, one of the first things investigators will do is document the scene and examine the aircraft which is expected to begin Wednesday.

RELATED: Two men are confirmed dead following a small plane crash into Lake Weir

Read the full statement:

“The aircraft has been recovered one of the investigator’s priorities will be to begin the process of documenting the scene and examining the aircraft. This is expected to begin tomorrow.

It is extremely early in the investigation and part of the investigation will be to request radar data, weather information, air traffic control communication, airplane maintenance records and the pilot’s medical records.

At this early stage of an investigation, NTSB does not state a cause but will only provide factual information when available.

For information about the victims, you may want to check with the local authorities to see if they have information to release. The NTSB does not release identities or other personal information about those involved in accident investigations.

In about 12 business days, it’s likely a preliminary report will be available and posted to the NTSB’s website. It can take 12-24 months before a probable cause and final report is issued and posted to the website.

You can also follow on Twitter @NTSB_newsroom for additional information regarding the ongoing investigation that will be released as it becomes available. “

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