Federal aviation authorities are investigating the site of a plane crash north of Phoenix where the bodies of two men were discovered early Sunday.
The plane, a four-seat Cessna 182, left the Scottsdale Airport at 2:15 a.m. Sunday and crashed in a desolate mountainous region during an instructional flight.
The crash occurred about 15 minutes after take-off en route to Prescott, according to Ian Gregor, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.
The wreckage was spotted by a state Department of Public Safety helicopter about six miles east of Interstate 17 and Table Mesa Road, near New River.
The flight was being conducted by a 23-year-old flight instructor, but it wasn’t known whether the instructor or the student was piloting the plane, Gregor said. There was no communication from the plane prior to the crash, but authorities were notified by someone who knew one of the plane’s occupants when it did not arrive in Prescott, Gregor said.
The names of the two men have not been released, and their city of residence was unknown, Gregor said.
It’s not unusual for an instructional flight to take place at that time of the morning because someone earning flying time for their pilot’s license has to fly in all conditions, according to Gregor.
He also said the plane was heavily damaged.
“The plane broke into many pieces, fragments really,” Gregor said.