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Pilot found dead after plane discovered in Oconto County

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Posted at 9:38 PM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-28 12:10:42-04

OCONTO COUNTY, Wis. (NBC 26) — The Oconto County Sheriff's Office said a pilot was found dead after a plane went down between County Road G and County Road K in the Town of Maple Valley on Wednesday night around 6:30 p.m.

Thursday morning, the pilot was identified as a 67-year-old man from Grand Prairie, Texas. The name of the individual is being held pending notification to the next of kin.

The aircraft had been tracked by both the FAA and the Air Force and two jets had been escorting the plane, however, the pilot was unresponsive.

In Thursday's statement, Oconto County Sheriff Todd Skarban said NORAD was also involved.

"The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) fighter aircraft responded to an incident involving an unresponsive, single engine general aviation aircraft over the state of Wisconsin. NORAD monitored the aircraft throughout the event, conducting regular assessments of potential impact to citizens and critical infrastructure," the Sheriff said in a statement. "NORAD advised the Oconto County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Dispatch Center that the aircraft impacted the ground near Hickory Corners, Wisconsin, at approximately 6:30 p.m. CST. NORAD aircraft did not use any weapons or tactics during the event that led to the aircraft impacting the ground."

The Oconto County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area and the plane was found after pinging the cellphone of the pilot. Upon finding the plane, authorities say the lone occupant, the pilot, was found deceased.

The Oconto County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Brown County Medical Examiner’s Office continue to investigate the incident, and there are no additional details available at this time.