UPDATE: Arkansas pilot found dead at crash scene
HEBER SPRINGS (KATV) -- The search for a71-year-old pilot from Heber Springs ended in Okla. Thursday when he was founddead inside his crashed plane.
Ray Broadbent was on hisway to Elk City, Okla. from Searcy, but never made it there.
According to his familyBroadbent has flown planes since he was 19, but his most recent trip Mondayended as his final flight when search crews found his body at the crash site.
"You know shock,anytime there's a possible accident you're in somewhat shock about that, andstill am," said Heber Springs Municipal Airport Manager, Charles Evans.
Evans told us Thursdaythat Broadbent often flew his planes out of Heber Springs, but because ofrunway construction the airport is currently closed.
Broadbent was instead choosinga different route taking off from Searcy's airport, while hisplane was later found about 200 miles away in Le Flore County, Okla.
It took about three daysfor Okla. search units to find Broadbent's plane. They tried to get a signalfrom his cell phone, but it was inactive. Evans tells me a box inside the planeshould've worked to find him much sooner.
"The aircrafts arerequired to have, what we call an ELT, an emergency locater transmitter. In theevent of an impact that transmitter starts broadcasting on the internationaldistress frequency," Evans said.
"It would continue to dothat as long as the battery had strength to transmit and usually that would beseveral days."
Finding Broadbent hadbeen a highly talked about concern in Heber Springs. The airport said it hasfielded several calls from people looking for updates, or asking if there wasanything new on his whereabouts.