Plane crashes and kills 2 NC men who weren’t trained pilots, cops say. Was it stolen?

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Two men flew a plane from North Carolina to Kentucky before crashing near an airport, police said.

Neither were trained pilots, and the plane may have been stolen, according to the Kentucky State Police.

The two Sanford, North Carolina men, Barry Hill, 47, and George Tucker, 48, died in the crash, police said Thursday in a press release. “Neither men were certified pilots,” police said.

The crashed plane was found Wednesday morning near the Henderson City-County Airport runway, police said.

The private plane, police said, “is believed to have been either stolen or its use unauthorized by the registered owner.”

The plane may have been taken from Davie County, North Carolina, Kentucky State Trooper Corey King told McClatchy.

The men were in a Bellanca 17-30A, police said. The Bellanca is a single-engine plane that seats four passengers and a pilot, according to the aviation website Global Air.

“Investigators believe that the small airplane crashed about 50 yards off the side of the runway leaving very minimal to no debris field. Investigators speculate the plane crashed last night or sometime early this morning,” police said in a press release.

The crash happened at the Henderson City-County Airport, near the Ohio River, according to the press release.

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Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.