Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Searchers have found the body of a pilot whose plane crashed north of Winfield this morning. The wreckage of the plane was discovered at about 10:15 Wednesday near 111th Street and 62nd Rd.
"I just heard a zzzZZZ, POP!," said Clyde Watt, who was out tending his ground when he realized something was wrong. "That was when he hit the ground."
Watt immediately walked toward the wreckage to see if he could help, but was surprised to find nobody.
"I couldn't see nobody," Watt said. "It went through a fence and took out about 50 yards of my fence and I expected to find somebody, but there wasn't anybody there."
Investigators searched for two hours before finding the pilot of the 1-seat plane about a mile north of the wreckage along 52nd Rd. He has been identified as 63 year-old Jerris Lynn Riffel of Denton, TX.
The Federal Aviation Administration arrived at the scene at about 2:00 Wednesday to begin investigating the crash, but emergency management officials at the scene were left to wonder if Riffel somehow bailed out of the prop plane when he realized he was going to crash.