Federal officials look for causes of Alcorn County plane crash

CORINTH – Debris from Tuesday’s airplane crash in southwest Alcorn County was found scattered almost 20 miles from where the bodies were recovered.
A team of investigators from the National Transportation Safety board, Federal Aviation Administration and other agencies spent Wednesday gathering data from the plane’s engine and other parts that had been recovered, said Sheriff Charles Rinehart.
“They found pieces at (Quad Graphics) and at the Crossroads Arena,” in Corinth, Rinehart said.
Both of those facilities are near U.S. Highway 45 at Harper Road, while the main debris field of the crash was off County Road 561, about three miles south of Mississippi Highway 2 in Hatchie Bottom.
The debris found at Quad Graphics included a piece of the Beechcraft Bonanza’s tail section, county Emergency Management Director Ricky Gibens told the sheriff.
The investigative team, lead by NTSB’s senior air safety investigator Brian Rayner, gathered late Wednesday to review the data gathered, the sheriff said.
“They’re trying to establish the cause of the crash and have traced the plane’s flight back to the starting point in Olive Branch,” he said. “They have a printout of the flight path.”
Killed in the crash were Atlanta businessman James “Jim” Judson Jr. and his wife, Elizabeth Judson.
They reportedly had left the Olive Branch airport about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in a six-passenger Beechcraft Bonanza plane. They had been in the area attending a golf tournament in Memphis in which their daughter, a University of Southern Mississippi student, was playing.
Scattered storms across Northeast Mississippi Tuesday are one likely cause of the crash, the sheriff said, with evidence suggesting the plane broke up in the air and pieces were then spread by storm winds.

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.

Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

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