Around 8 p.m on Thursday night, Dec. 17, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) alerted the Madison County Sheriff’s Department that a small plane headed to the Tallahassee International Airport from Ocala was reportedly missing. Air traffic controllers in Tallahassee had lost contact with the plane as it traveled over Madison County. When morning arrived, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and New Home Volunteer Fire Department worked alongside the Leon County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a search for the small missing plane and were able to locate the plane by helicopter. The plane was found at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 18 in a heavily wooded area off of Moseley Hall Road, near Greenville. The two individuals within the craft were James Habersham Swiggart, 32, of Meridian Mississippi Naval Air Station, and Maitland Harvey, 18, a member of Alpha Chi and freshman student at the University of North Florida; Harvey was studying business and hoped to open her own coffee shop one day. Both were confirmed to be deceased in the wreckage. It is believed that the two were cousins. Officials speculate that weather and low visibility could have been the cause of the crash. The weather would have been turbulent for anyone while flying, and the style of aircraft that Swiggart and Harvey were in was lightweight and could have been easily discombobulated by the weather. According to Sheriff Ben Stewart, the National Transportation Safety Board and FAA are still investigating the incident further.
Plane crash in Greenville; two dead