‘Experienced Pilot’ and Passenger Die After Small Plane Clips a Power Line and Crashes into Lake (Video)

Two people have died after a plane crashed into a North Carolina lake on Sunday, multiple outlets reported.

A single-engine Super Petrel Amphibious Plane crashed into Lake Hickory near Selkirk Drive around 11:30 a.m. after clipping a power line, according to CBS affiliate WBTV and NBC affiliate WCNC.

The crash occurred shortly after the plane took off from the Hickory Regional Airport, and both the pilot and his passenger died as a result of the crash, the outlets reported.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol has identified the victims as Jeffrey Ray Cooley, 63, of Granite Falls, and Brian Frank Miller, 49, of Hickory, per the outlets.

Joe Brannock, Cooley’s friend and fellow pilot, said Cooley was familiar with the lake, having flown around it several times before.

About 18,000 customers in both Caldwell and Catawba counties lost power due to the crash, WBTV and WCNC reported.

Power was restored about two hours after the crash, according to WCNC.

The Federal Aviation Authority is investigating the crash, CNN and The News and Observer reported.

The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the crash, per WCNC.

The Hickory Fire Department and North Carolina State Police did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment

Lake Hickory spans more than 4,200 acres and has more than 105 miles of shoreline, according to the city of Hickory’s website.

The lake was formed in 1927 “when the Oxford Dam was built along the Catawba River,” according to a 2020 Facebook post shared by the city.


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