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Jack Jackson, Gwynn Groggel, Charles Torti, 69, and Carrie Torti, 59, dead in plane crash near Tupelo Regional Airport, Mississippi
The accident happened at 8:32 a.m. CT on Monday when the Beech BE36 aircraft went down in a wooded area off Colonial Estates Road in Tupelo, which is about half a mile from Runway 18 at Tupelo Regional Airport.
The FAA said the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit before the crash. "We got smoke in our cockpit. We need to come back around," the pilot could be heard saying on air-traffic control audio.
Groggle and Jackson had been part of the Civil Air Patrol for over two decades.
“They were members of the Kerrville Composite Squadron and were responsible for starting the squadron back in the 1990s,” said Maj. George Otto, squadron commander. “Groggel was also the first commander of the Kerrville Squadron.”
Lee County Coroner Carolyn Green says the dead include the pilot, 75-year-old Henry Jackson and his wife, 70-year-old Gwynn Groggell. Another married couple, 69-year-old Charles Torti and 59-year-old Carrie Torti, also died. All were residents of Kerrville, Texas.
The National Transportation Safety Board says the plane, which was departing from Tupelo, Mississippi on Monday, dropped exhaust system parts on the runway as it was taking off.