Searchers Find Helicopter Wreckage, Pilot's Body in Crittenden County

NOVEMBER 8, 2005 - Posted at 4:34 p.m. CST

CHATFIELD, AR - Search crews in eastern Arkansas today found the body of a pilot and the wreckage of his crashed helicopter that had vanished Saturday while en route from Marion to stops in Mississippi and Desha County.

Searchers found the helicopter, mostly intact, in a 20-foot ditch between two farm fields in rural Crittenden County about four miles off of Highway 147.  Several friends and family members of 44-year-old Lee Catt of Marion had been looking for him and were at the site.

Catt was piloting a Bell Jet Ranger.  The aircraft left a private heliport at Marion Saturday morning.

According to a missing person's report filed by his wife, Catt was supposed to fly over two job sites in Mississippi before meeting up with friends at a hunting cabin in Desha County.  Catt owns Lee Catt Construction, which has done work across the region and on the new Hino Motors plant in Marion.

Police said they don't believe Catt reached any of his designations because the helicopter wreckage was found facing south and was not far from where he had taken off.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)