By WTOC Staff

WAYNE COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) – A pilot is dead after a small plane crash in Wayne County, EMA Director Donne Ray confirms.

Wayne County Emergency Management and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office say it happened just after 9 a.m. on Thursday.

The missing aircraft’s last known area was around the Manningtown, Ga. area. The plane was located just after 9:30 a.m. approximately a quarter mile from the William A. Zorn Airport.

Initial reports say the the plane, a small private aircraft, was carrying the pilot and his dog. The pilot has been identified as Dr. Howard Wasdin. Dr. Wasdin was a highly decorated Navy Seal.

Investigators say the crash site and surrounding area have been secured and will be maintained until investigators from the FAA arrive later on Thursday.

Wayne County EMA and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office received help locating the plane from E-911 Communication Officers, Department of Natural Resources, Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Emergency Management Agency, Jesup Fire Department, Brantley County EMA and Sheriff Department, Golden Isle Ambulance Service, County Administrator Amanda Hannah and Airport Manager Mitch Sutton.