By Brett Clarkson and Bizuayehu Tesfaye Las Vegas Review-Journal

A small plane crashed Tuesday in the desert just west of U.S. Highway 95 south of Searchlight, killing two people.

The wreckage of the white aircraft, which was visible from U.S. 95, lay in the desert about a mile north of the Kidwell Airport airstrip in Cal-Nev-Ari, a small town in the southern tip of Nevada near the borders of California and Arizona.

Milne Pocock, a flight instructor who owns Bush Air in Cal-Nev-Ari, said he was flying with a flight student Tuesday about 10:30 a.m. when he saw the downed plane in the desert.

“I spotted the wreckage. It didn’t look like it was an aircraft at the time. I thought it was just some junk out in the desert, but then I got suspicious and I came back and circled over the top of it and identified it as an aircraft,” Pocock said.

Pocock landed his plane, called 911 and then went out to the scene of the crash. He said the aircraft belonged to a neighbor who had taken off from the airstrip about 4:15 a.m. Tuesday.

An investigator with the Federal Aviation Administration who was at the scene said he didn’t yet have a lot of information, as the investigation was just beginning, and referred media inquiries to an FAA spokesperson.

A statement from the FAA said a “single-engine GlaStar crashed north of Kidwell Airport in Clark County, Nevada, around 5 a.m. local time Tuesday, April 11. Two people were on board.”

The FAA’s statement also said that the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, with the NTSB taking the lead.

“The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide any updates,” the FAA statement said.

Pocock declined to identify the two victims. He said he saw them in the wreckage and recognized them as his neighbors, a married couple who were snowbirds.

Their identities weren’t released Wednesday and probably will be released in the coming days by the Clark County coroner’s office.