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Small plane crash in Arkansas claims the life of Homer man

By Daffney Dawson and Fred Gamble (KSLA)

Officials say a man is dead after a plane crash that happened at around 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 30.

Meanwhile, Arkansas State Police has called in federal assistance to investigate the crash. 

The small plane took off from a private landing strip five miles southeast of Lewisville, Ark. before crashing into a wooded area. Arkansas State Police identified the victim as Christopher Bailey of Homer, La.

“I saw the plane go down and heard the crash,” said Jerry Estes, who owns the private runway Bailey took off from. “He left the runway and went up about 300 foot, then he made a turn to the south and then he made another turn to the east and then he went down.”

Estes says three planes were taking off from his private runway Sunday afternoon. He says Bailey was the last of the three to take off; Bailey was the only one aboard the plane.

“I kind of question the wind being as strong as it was and the two planes went out ahead of him and when he went out, I guess that wind was a little bit too strong for him,” Estes said.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the incident.

“Just sadness… There is really no other emotion than sadness,” said Keith Lee, a friend of Bailey’s reacting to his death.

Lee says he grew up with Bailey in Claiborne Parish.

“He loved flying. He loved to go fast, but he will be very missed,” Lee said.