The crash occurred about a mile south of the Ardmore Downtown Executive Airport in Carter County at Lake Murray State Park, according to authorities. Authorities said a 63-year-old white man who was piloting the 1967 Piper Cherokee was pronounced dead at the scene. A 58-year-old white male passenger was taken to Mercy Hospital of Ardmore. He was later transported by air ambulance to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas, where he was admitted in critical condition. Troopers said the plane, a single engine Piper Cherokee 6, had been flown into the Ardmore area two months ago for repairs. Mechanics were working on the plane Saturday and decided to take the plane out for a test flight Saturday afternoon. The plane began to experience engine trouble while flying over the state park. The plane crashed just west of Scenic Route 77, about a half-mile south of U.S. 70. "There was one survivor of the crash, the plane was occupied twice, Lt. Darian Galloway said. We believe the driver is the deceased person in the plane. The plane was fully engulfed in flames at the time." Trooper Mike Groeber, who is a pilot with more than 30 years of experience, said he saw the two men working on the plane Friday night and again before the crash occurred Saturday morning at the airport. "I went through the airport and checked -- they were working on it about dark, Groeber said. When I air ambulance came back this morning to work I came through the airport and again they were working still on the engine." Troopers said investigators from the FAA will make the determination on the cause of the crash. When I looked at the damage, it looks like they were turning and coming back to the airport," Groeber said.
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