CHERRY RIDGE TOWNSHIP -- The cause of a plane crash that killed a man in Wayne County on Thursday is still under investigation. The National Transportation Safety Board was on the scene Friday -- less than 24 hours since the tragedy -- looking for answers.
The plane crashed not far from where it took off -- the Cherry Ridge Airport near Honesdale. Investigators say they do not yet know why it crashed, but many questions still remain -- especially after the crash claimed the life of 52-year-old Joseph Kinney of Dingmans Ferry.
The crash itself happened around 4:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon in the wooded area near White Hills Road in Wayne County -- not far from the Cherry Ridge Airport. Investigators with the NTSB say Kinney had just taken off from the airport. He was the only person in the plane at the time of the crash.
"The wreckage was substatinally damaged but relatively in tact," said NTSB Investigator Brian Raynor. "One wing separated from the air frame another wing tip separated but the cockpit area while still damaged was connected."
NTSB Investigators say they will have to examine Kinney's plane to try and figure out what caused the crash. They do not have many witness reports and are using airport surveillance video to try to figure out what may have occurred.
"What we're going to do is go through the process we normally work," explained Raynor. "The investigation is divided into three parts. We look at the man the machine and the environment."
Marty Lane owns a restaurant at the airport, where he remembers serving Kinney from time to time.
"You know, you hear about incidents you see incidents but this was awful. Its an awful thing for him and his family," said Lane. "You feed somebody and you're not going to see him anymore. It`s just very sad."
Mike Lovelace works at the airport. While he didn't know Kinney, he did take off in a plane to search for him after hearing of the tragic crash.
"I talked to a couple people who actually knew him," said Lovelace. "They say he was a good pilot and a good family man. So it is a loss to the whole aviation community."