A man and his adult son were killed when their small plane crashed near an unlit Missouri airport, even as the pilot’s fiancee tried to guide in the plane with a flashlight.

The wreckage was discovered Friday morning in woods near the airport runway in Festus, south of St. Louis. The victims’ names haven’t been released.

Jefferson County Sheriff Dave Marshak says the pilot was returning from New York Thursday and reported electrical problems in the plane that prevented him from remotely activating the runway lights, which are turned off after working hours.

Marshak says the fiancee responded to the pilot’s texts and stood along the runway with a flashlight. The plane briefly touched down but took off again — Marshak wasn’t sure why. It crashed a short time later.

The sheriff initially said the plane was newly purchased, but later said it had been in the family for some time.

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