Pilot killed in Pennsylvania plane crash identified as local man

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PINE TWP., Pa. (WKBN) – A Pennsylvania coroner identified the pilot killed during a plane crash near Grove City on Wednesday.

The victim is Richard Briggs, 65, of Cuyahoga Falls, according to Mercer County Coroner John Libonati.

Briggs was the operator of a single-engine Cessna 210 aircraft that went down in a wooded area near Tri-County Industries in Pine Township.

A passenger, whose identity hasn’t been released, was taken by helicopter to St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown. That passenger suffered severe burns, according to investigators at the scene Friday.

According to the coroner, preliminary information suggests that the plane was experiencing significant mechanical problems prior to the crash and that efforts were made to land safely prior to the accident.

The Federal Aviation Administration will make a definitive ruling on the cause of the crash. The FAA began investigating the crash site on Friday morning.

Civil Air Patrol Squadrons from Mercer, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver and Clarion were there to assist the investigation. An air safety investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board was also on the scene.

Investigator Lawrence Aaron McCarter said the investigation will be tough. He said it is very hazardous where the plane landed.

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