Dan Copp – The Courier

Two people were killed Friday in a small plane crash outside of Houma, officials said. 

The Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office identified the pilot as Omar Fouad El-Aazami, 54, of Lumberton, Miss., and the passenger as Dr. Jan Marie Villemarette, 48, of Houma.

A Cessna 182 carrying two people departed from the Houma-Terrebonne Airport at 11 a.m. en route to Brenham, Texas, according to National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson.  

The single-engine plane disappeared from radar around 11:14 a.m. about seven miles southwest of Houma, Knudson said. 

Using coordinates supplied to dispatchers, water patrol agents from the Sheriff’s Office, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and members of the Dularge Fire Department began a search, authorities said.  

After the plane wreckage was found near Lake Hatch patrol and airboats were used in the recovery efforts, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and NTSB, Knudson said. 

“A preliminary report will be made available in a couple of weeks and the investigation will be concluded in 12 to 24 months,” he said. “The preliminary report will lay out some of the facts and circumstances that we know at this point.” 

Sheriff Tim Soignet thanked everyone who helped in the recovery efforts.