Plane Crash Claims Two

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Two people were killed in a plane crash Saturday around 3:30 p.m. in Lauderdale County.

The aircraft went down on Cotton Gin Road near Highway 45.

The bodies of the two people inside were removed, but their identities were not immediately released by authorities.

Bill Ross, who owns Topton Air Estates, a small, private air strip, identified the pilot as George Twente and the passenger as Andy Bruno.

Ross said Twente is a well-known psychiatrist and "an excellent aerobatic pilot." He said Bruno was a lieutenant in the Navy.

FAA investigators were expected to lead an investigation into the cause of the crash.

Authorities said the aircraft made a series of maneuvers before crashing into a pasture on Cotton Gin Road, a few hundred feet from Highway 45.

Lauderdale Emergency Management Agency director Clarence Butler said the information he received was that the plane crashed nose first into the ground.

Marion police and the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department, along with firefighters from the Northeast Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.