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Officials locate body of pilot in Lake Superior plane crash

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The body of a missing pilot was located by officials Saturday night in Lake Superior off Duluth following a plane crash earlier in the day, The Associated Press reports.

Wreckage from the plane was located about 9:30 p.m. Saturday and the body was found at about 11 p.m., the AP says.

Forum News Service says officials located the body and plane debris deep below the surface.

The pilot's identity has not been released. The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office believes the pilot was the only occupant in the plane.

The plane crashed earlier in the day in foggy conditions offshore from Brighton Beach in Duluth.

According to the Duluth Fire Department, the plane was reported missing by the control tower at the Duluth International Airport at about 11:30 a.m. Saturday. The U.S. Coast Guard also received a report from the control tower of "a single engine white and maroon airplane spiraling down with a loss of communications."

A debris field – which included fuel and the pilot's log book – spanned about 250 yards in length and was first located by one of three St. Louis County boats at about 12:15 p.m. Assistant Duluth Fire Chief Erik Simonson told Forum News Service that water in the area was about 140 feet deep with an estimated temperature of 40 degrees.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane – a single-engine, four-seat, kit-built Lancair IV – is registered to A.O. Engineering of Wilmington, Delaware. The FAA says the plane was bound from Duluth to Goose Bay, Labrador, in far eastern Canada.

A recovery mission is planned. However, since a specialized diver is needed because of the depths of the waters, a dive to inspect the wreckage won't happen until Monday, Forum News Service says.

Northland's NewsCenter has video from the scene of the crash.

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