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Pilot identified in fatal plane crash

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 12:50 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 13, 2021 at 9:41 AM CDT
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MELBOURNE, Ark. (KAIT) - Izard County officials have identified a man killed Monday when his plane crashed.

The sheriff’s department said Friday that the State Medical Examiner’s Office had positively identified the pilot as 56-year-old Dr. Rodger D. Langster of Heber Springs.

The crash happened around 11:15 a.m. Monday, Aug. 9, about a quarter of a mile west of the John E. Miller Field/Melbourne Municipal Airport on Caney Springs Road.

OEM Director Gary Dickerson said the crash happened about a quarter of a mile west of John E....
OEM Director Gary Dickerson said the crash happened about a quarter of a mile west of John E. Miller Field/Melbourne Municipal Airport.(Google Maps)

Chief Deputy Charley Melton said the plane took off from the Melbourne Municipal Airport and was possibly headed to Heber Springs.

People on the ground reportedly heard a “loud boom” then saw the plane go into a treeline.

“Deputies responded along with Melbourne Fire Department personnel. We found the plane fully engulfed in flames,” Melton said. “At that time, they extinguished the fire and we discovered one body inside the plane.”

The sheriff’s office is unsure what type of plane it was.

Langster’s body was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for identification.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Debris of a plane can be seen in an area near Melbourne High School after a crash was reported...
Debris of a plane can be seen in an area near Melbourne High School after a crash was reported Monday.(KAIT)

Region 8 News will update this story as more details emerge.

Copyright 2021 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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