- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

BUCKEYE, Ariz. (AP) - Authorities say a pilot and passenger are dead after a small plane crashed in the Gila Bend Mountains near Buckeye.

Maricopa County Sheriff’s officials say the wreckage was found by a helicopter Tuesday night in a field about 17 miles southwest of Buckeye.

They say the aircraft took off from Buckeye Municipal Airport at about 8 a.m. Tuesday and was scheduled to return two hours later.

Sheriff’s officials say positive identification of the two people killed will be made by the county medical examiner.

But Buckeye officials say the city’s airport coordinator since October 2013, John McMahon, was one of the crash victims. It’s unclear if McMahon was flying the plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the fatal crash.

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