LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Officials in West Virginia say two people are dead after the crash of a plane carrying UPS packages that took off from Louisville.
According to WSAZ-TV in Huntington, the cargo jet left Louisville at 5:41 a.m. and crashed just before 7 a.m. after going off a runway at Yeager Airport in Charleston.
Mike Plante, a Yeager Airport spokesman, said the dead are the pilot and co-pilot, who were the only ones aboard the plane. WSAZ says the dead are a man and a woman and were from West Virginia. Their names have not been released.
The plane, a Short 330 aircraft - a twin-engine turboprop designed for carrying cargo. belonged to Air Cargo Carriers and was operating under contract to carry UPS packages.
"UPS is aware of an incident in Charleston WV, involving a small feeder aircraft carrying UPS packages. The aircraft is not a UPS aircraft but we do not have additional information to share about the carrier, or condition of the aircraft or crew. The flight departed Louisville about 5:35 this morning and was due into Charleston about 6:20. As we attempt to learn more about the situation, we are keeping the crew involved in our heartfelt thoughts."
Aviation expert James-Paul Dice, an aircraft pilot and chief meteorologist at WBRC-TV in Birmingham, AL, says weather could have played a part in the crash. According to Dice, the airport was experiencing low ceilings with some clouds at 100 feet and overcast conditions at 500 feet. Dice said flying in such conditions is not impossible, but leaves little room for error.
The lone runway at Yeager Airport, Runway 5-23, is 6,802ft long. Dice said that is well within the capabilities of the aircraft. He also said there is an instrument landing system (ILS) in operation for Runway 23.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are headed to Charleston. Yeager Airport will remain closed until sometime Saturday..