UPDATE: Plane wreckage found on Whipstock Mountain

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BENNINGTON - The wreckage of a small plane that crashed Sunday evening was found on Whipstock Mountain around 9:15 a.m. today.

A nearby resident spotted the downed plane, according to police. Investigators from the Bennington Police Department were en route to the crash site around 9:30 a.m., according to Bennington Police Chief Richard Gauthier.

He said the male pilot appeared to be deceased.

The Federal Aviation Administration will take over the investigation of the crash, but local police will continue to investigate the pilot's death, Gauthier said.

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Police had resumed searching for the plane that several witnesses said crashed Sunday evening near the William H. Morse airport.

Local and state authorities called off the search around 12:30 a.m.

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Monday, however, after unsuccessful attempts to find the plane with the assistance of a New York State Police helicopter.

Several eye witnesses reported seeing an airplane crash near the airport. Emergency personnel responded around 7:20 p.m. and set up a command post on Whipstock Road before relocating to the airport. Bennington Police Lt. Paul Doucette said one 911 call came from a

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female who said the plane circle four times before losing power. She said "it sounded like thunder" as the plane went down.

Police believe the plane may have been circling the airport trying to land the plane from the west side, rather than from the east. Such a move would be "nearly impossible," according to police.

A beacon that usually emits a circling light from the highest point on Whipstock Mountain behind the airport stopped working shortly before the reported crash, according to police. They said it is unclear if that may have played a role.


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