Missing crop duster found in rural East Central Mississippi

Published 12:12 pm Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Authorities are working to confirm the identify of a pilot whose body was found in the wreckage of a yellow-and-blue crop-duster in northeastern Neshoba County.

Winston County Sheriff Randy Thomas says his deputies discovered the wreckage about 5:30 p.m. Monday near the Winston, Kemper and Neshoba county lines.

Authorities believe the pilot may be 48-year-old Monty Hudson of Jonesboro, Ark., who was flying from Greenville, Ala., to Jonesboro when his plane disappeared Friday.

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Air and ground teams had searched for the missing plane over a wide area of eastern Mississippi and western Alabama. Poor weather had limited Monday’s search to ground units.

Ashley Smith of Vicksburg told The Clarion-Ledger newspaper that she had been told Monday night by authorities that her father’s plane had been found.

Smith said Hudson lives in Jonesboro and had been crop-dusting for 10 years and had been a pilot for 15 years.

Authorities say only the pilot was aboard the plane.

Neshoba County Emergency Management Director Jeff Mayo told The Neshoba Democrat newspaper that the plane was found in a field about 12 miles northeast of Philadelphia.