Two persons have died in the crash of an experimental gyrocopter in rural DeSoto County on Saturday evening, according to DeSoto County Coroner Jeff Pounders.
DeSoto County Sheriff's Department Deputy Alex Coker has identified the two as Wayne House, 70, and Richard House, 43, who were both aboard the aircraft when it crashed near the Eagle Ridge airport/landing.
The two men died when the light, experimental gyrocopter they were riding in crashed and burst into flames during impact.
The bodies of the two men were burned beyond recognition. Firefighters were alerted to what was first reported as a grass fire, believed to have been caused by the crash.
"They were flying one of those experimental gyrocopters — we don't know exactly what happened," Pounders said. "The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) and the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) are both investigating the crash."
Pounders said according to the DeSoto County Sheriff's Department, the crash occurred around 5:30 p.m.
Emergency officials arrived on scene about 6:20 p.m. Pounders was called about 7:30 p.m.
The crash site is located near Cleveland and Malone Roads in a heavily wooded area.
The area was cordoned off due to the ongoing investigation.
Pounders said the bodies were burned so badly that DNA as well as dental records would be instrumental in identifying the victims.
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.