Plane of Missing Couple Found Near St. Ignace Almost 21 Years After Crashing

“Back in 1997 the consensus is when they took off from Drummond they were supposed to go south.”

Federal investigators confirmed they found a plane that went missing two decades ago, deep in the woods of Mackinac County.

On September 14, 1997,  the small plane disappeared after taking off from Drummond Island airport.

It was flown by Mark Davies with his wife Janet, both from Howell.

But no one saw the couple or the plane again after takeoff.

Until now the National Transportation Safety Board says they found the wreckage around here, about five miles northwest of Saint Ignace.

It’s one of the most remote areas in all of Mackinac County, thick woods-swamp land.

It wasn’t until a forester went to mark trees that this plane was discovered nearly 21 years after it had crashed.

“No one had obviously traversed the areas for decades,” Mackinac County Sheriff Scott Strait said.

That forester’s chance discovery, led police and K9 units into those woods Thursday.

More than a mile hike uphill.

“The tail number matched a plane that had been missing for 21 years,” Strait said.

Sheriff Scott Strait says over the years there have been many other searches by air over these exact woods.

The landscape is likely what kept this plane hidden for so long.

“The plane is white and we have outcroppings of limestone, so it may have been blended in that way, so we’re not quite sure, it’s in a very remote area of the county surrounded by swamp land and heavily forested areas,” Strait said.

“I know it was possibly seen over by Castle Rock, low-flying along underneath the clouds and fog,” James Bailey, Drummond Island Airport manager said.

James Bailey is the last person to see the Davies alive, almost 21 years ago.

“Mark and Janey, they used to fly up here. I knew them because I run the airport,” Bailey said.

Although just an acquaintance, there’s hope that today’s discovery brings closure to the many who loved the Davies.

“It’s been 21 years, so it’s really, it’s just nice to know they found it for the family,” Bailey said.

“It’s a tragedy whether it happened yesterday or 20 years ago for the families and our thoughts go out to them, to have some closure to this at least,” Strait said.

And this investigation far from over, the feds will work to determine cause of the crash.

And the medical examiner is on scene to try and recover the remains.



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