Local pilot dies in La. plane crash

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Brookhaven man was killed when the plane he was piloting crashed in Baker, La., early Friday afternoon, according to a spokesman for the Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office.

John Fowler, 71, of Brookhaven was the pilot and apparently the lone occupant of the plane, Coroner’s Chief of Investigations Shane Evans said Saturday.

The plane crashed and exploded about two miles from the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport shortly after takeoff. Although two houses were struck and caught fire, no injuries were reported on the ground.

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“Through a turn of events, no residents were at home,” Evans said.

He added that the coroner’s office has not yet forensically confirmed Fowler’s identification. However, the plane’s owner, businessman Claude Penn of Baton Rouge, identified him as the pilot.

Penn had recently purchased the Beechcraft King Air twin turbo prop plane, and Fowler was flying it to McComb at the time of the crash, Evans said.