ST. CHARLES COUNTY — Two people died Saturday in the crash of a small plane in the New Melle area of St. Charles County on Saturday evening, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
The twin-engine Beechcraft Baron 58 took off from Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield and was headed to Centennial Airport outside of Denver, said NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson. It had reached an altitude of 8,000 feet before sliding into a rapid descent.
Officials have yet to identify the people in the plane. Mary Case, the chief medical examiner for St. Charles County, said it could be several days before identifications are made.
About 7:30 p.m., the airport reported a "mayday" call from the pilot, said Kyle Gaines, the public information officer for the St. Charles County Ambulance District. Around the same time, the ambulance district started getting calls from residents who heard the crash, he said.
First responders from the ambulance district, the St. Charles County Police Department, the Missouri Highway Patrol and the fire protection districts in New Melle, Cottleville, Wentzville, Augusta and Wright City coordinated efforts. The responders pinpointed the crash site in a heavily wooded, rural area near Highway F and Rugged Acres Lane, said Gaines.
"It was certainly a little bit chaotic," he said. "It took some coordination to get the search isolated to that general area."
About 9:30 p.m., searchers began finding pieces of wreckage, spread over about 300 yards of where the aircraft was believed to have made impact.
"The determination was made that it was not a survivable impact," Gaines said.
At that time, the investigation was turned over to the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.
The NTSB will issue a preliminary report on the crash, likely within the next two weeks, Knudson said.