HARNED, KY (WAVE)- A pilot has died after his plane crashed in Central Kentucky. Breckinridge County coroner, Tim Bandy, has identified the pilot as 54-year-old Donald E. Klein, Jr., of Louisville. The single engine propeller Lancair airplane went down Saturday afternoon around 2:30pm Eastern time in a field in Harned. That's in Breckinridge County.
According to Brekinridge County Sheriff, Todd Pate, three planes left the Rough River airport in Grayson County at the same time Saturday. After take-off, the Brekinridge County dispatch got a call from the two other pilots saying:
"They had been in contact with the pilot that was in distress stating that he was having some type of difficulty with his aircraft," said Pate.
The two pilots lost contact with Klein and landed at the Hardinsburg airport to try to help him. A neighbor called dispatch and said they saw the experimental plane go down. The plane went down and the wreckage was found by a hunter on Barry Elliott family's land.
"My heart goes out to the family," Elliott said. "My condolences to the pilots family. It's a tragic thing."
At the scene, the plane appeared to be in a confined area. The plane also appeared to be in pieces.
Elliott said he is a former pilot.
"Some of the neighbors said he was flying low and slow like nearly in a power out situation. It's quite windy today and said he was bobbing around wing to wing. Basically it looks like he maybe was attempting to do an emergency landing and the wind direction and the path he was traveling, like he was going to go in the pond so he was going to dodge the pond. It looks like his wing, maybe, was the first thing to make contact. And made him just cartwheel from that," said Elliott. "Basically it looks like he maybe was attempting to do an emergency landing and the wind direction and the path he was traveling, like he was going to go in the pond so he was going to dodge the pond."
Elliott said as a former pilot himself, he thinks about Klein "I think about what he may have been thinking at the last (moment)," said Elliott."My heart breaks for the family."
The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to be in the area Sunday, from Washington DC.