An elderly Michigan couple were flying Friday from Georgia to Michigan when their small plane crashed in rural Clark County, apparently killing them both, according to authorities.
Beyond their flight path, few new details were available Saturday about the plane crash involving Levon G. King, 81, a former mayor in Allen Park, Mich., and his wife, Gloria D. King, 85.
The couple were living north of Allen Park in Dearborn, Mich., according to reports.
Their bodies were recovered about noon Friday among wreckage of his RV-9A aircraft in a farm field in Harmony Twp. in Clark County, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol.
The cause of the crash is so far undetermined, although a thunderstorm and lightning were pelting the area east of Springfield as the couple flew through about 10:50 a.m.
“That storm was coming through,” Sgt. Shane Meddock of the Ohio Highway Patrol said.
The investigation has been turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration, which did not respond to inquiries Saturday.
FAA records indicate Levon King was a private pilot, certified in December 2009, as well as a repairman and builder of experimental aircraft, certified in August 2015. The plane was last inspected on April 27, 2015, according to records.
Reports in the Southgate News-Herald indicate King built the airplane himself. Allen Park Mayor William Matakas said King spent years building his airplane.
“That was a passion of his,” he said. “He loved flying.”
Matakas said King urged him to run as mayor.
“He was one of the most honest and wonderful men I know,” he said. “He really cared about Allen Park. … He was a vital force.”
Both Dearborn and Allen Park are north of Southgate and south of Detroit, along Interstate 94.
A lawyer, minister and singer in a local quartet, King also served on the city council in Allen Park from 1999 to 2003. He was appointed administrator of Southgate in 2005.
The Clark County Coroner’s Office is conducting autopsies. On Saturday, an office spokesperson indicated they were awaiting toxicology results.
The FAA indicated it lost radio and radar contact with the plane and contacted the highway patrol at 10:51 a.m. Friday.
A highway patrol helicopter was called in to locate the crash, in a cornfield about a half mile from Newlove Road and Ohio 41 in Harmony Twp.