Officials have released the identities of two pilots who died in a plane crash Tuesday in Litchfield.

An official with the National Transportation Safety Board, Ralph Hicks, spoke with reporters on Wednesday, with more information about the plane crash. Here's what we know so far.

What Do We Know About the Plane, Itself?

  • The aircraft was a Beech BE99 twin-engine turboprop
  • The plane is typically a passenger plane but was being operated by Wiggins Air out of Manchester, New Hampshire as a cargo plane
  • At the time of the crash, the plane had no cargo on board, as it was being used for a training flight
  • There was no black box on the plane, which would have recorded any mechanical issues prior to the crash

Have the 2 Victims Been Identified?

  • WABI-TV reports the instructing pilot has been identified as James Shepherd-Kegal, 69, of North Yarmouth, Maine and the student pilot is identified as Jumaane Omar Stanley Melville, 37, of St. Petersburg, Florida.
  • Both occupants of the plane were pilots
  • Both were sitting in the cockpit of the plane
  • There's no indication, at this point, about who was in control of the plane at the time of the crash
  • Toxicology tests will be conducted on both pilots, to determine whether either of them may have been impaired

What Happened?

  • The plane left the Lewiston/Auburn Airport and did a few training circuits around the area before heading toward O'Connell's Field, which is a grassy landing strip in Wales, Maine
  • Hicks says the plane went in at a 25-degree descent and is considered a high-energy impact
  • The engines separated from the wings and both propellor assemblies separated from the engines
  • At this point, there's no indication of fire either before or after the crash
  • Witnesses have said they heard an explosion, but Hicks says they won't know details until they examine the wreckage
  • The wreckage path is 200 yards in length and 50 feet wide and is partially spread across a road

As the investigation continues, all of the wreckage will be taken to an NTSB facility, where it can be spread out and examined carefully. Hicks says that could take 12 to 18 months. This crash is being investigated by the NTSB and the FAA.

We'll update this story as more details become available.

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