Plane in fatal crash in W.Va. had just taken off

MORGANTOWN (AP) — A pilot who died when his small airplane hit two communications towers and crashed in northern West Virginia had just dropped passengers off at a western Pennsylvania resort.

Marketing director Zelma Kassimer of Nemacolin Woodlands Resort tells The Dominion Post the plane had taken off from the resort outside Pittsburgh on Friday morning.

Authorities said the plane crashed about 10 minutes later near Coopers Rock State Forest, east of Morgantown.

The pilot’s identity hasn’t been released.

Mike Nichols, an aviation mechanic who assisted at the scene of the crash, says the pilot had been flying in hazy conditions when he struck the towers, tearing down part of one structure. One of the towers struck is owned by West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Federal aviation officials are investigating.

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