News Release

For Other Kentucky Government Sites Visit:
Click here to visit, the Official State Government Site for the Commonwealth of Kentucky
Media / For More Information Contact:

Trooper Shaun Little
Public Affairs Officer
Kentucky State Police
Post 9, Pikeville
(606) 433-7711
Click here to e-mail Trooper Shaun Little

Plane Crash in the Shelby Gap Community of Pike County Claims North Carolina Man

Date of News Release: 09/04/2006

(Pike County, KY) - On the morning of Saturday, September 2, 2006 a 1971 Cessna, 2 passenger, single engine plane departed from a private airport in Brasstown, North Carolina and was to arrive at the Big Sandy Regional Airport that afternoon. The plane departed North Carolina with only the pilot, Rush Bradford.

At 10:20 AM EST, Post 9-Pikeville, received a call from a local resident advising that he observed a small plane circling and then heard the engine stop. He then heard the plane striking the trees. The location of the possible crash was in the Shelby Gap community of Pike County.

KSP Troopers responded to the scene and in conjunction with Pike County Emergency Management, as well as Pike County Fire and Rescue teams developed a command post in the area below the crash site. Troopers, concerned citizens and volunteers from many different agencies formed search teams attempting to locate the crash site.

On Sunday, September 03, 2006 at approximately 3:55 PM the crash site was located. The crash site was located in rough terrain on a mountainside in the Shelby Gap community.

Although no survivors were found Sunday night, one fatality had confirmed but not identified.

On Monday, September 04, 2006 investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), FAA, Kentucky Medical Examiners Office, Pike County Coroners Office, various Pike County Fire Departments and the Kentucky State Police continued the joint investigation.

The information received throughout the investigation is consistent with evidence obtained at the site and indicates that the plane located is the same plane that departed Brasstown, North Carolina. Although a positive identification has not been confirmed it is believed that the victim is Rush Bradford, 65 years of age, from Murphy, North Carolina.

The cause of the crash will be determined by the National Transportation Safety Board. A preliminary report should be available in approximately 10 days at

Last Update: