The plane, a Brenholt Larry R-RV4, is registered to Ronald Murphy of Callahan, Fla.
Polk County Deputy Coroner Tony Brazier said the body is being sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Atlanta to complete the autopsy and confirm dental records.
“We feel fairly certain the pilot was killed on impact,” Brazier said.
The cause of the crash remains undetermined.
“At this point in time we don’t have enough pertinent medical history on the pilot, enough personal history, to determine if it was bad weather, which was going on at the time, a mechanical failure or a medical event,” Brazier said.
Officials know the plane came out of Hilliard, Fla., northwest of Jacksonville.
The Cedartown Standard received a call Friday afternoon from Sharon Murphy of Callahan, Fla., who stated the pilot may have been her husband. Police officials confirmed her husband was possibly the pilot and have spoken with her. However, no official names are being released.
Murphy stated her husband, 68, left Friday for Wisconsin where a huge fly-in was planned for next week. He is an experienced pilot and would never have flown in bad weather, she said.
She said her husband’s plane was based out of Hilliard, Fla., and she was expecting a call from him at every stop he made along the route. Yet, she had not heard from him Friday morning.
The plane, introduced by Van’s Aircraft in 1980, is a two-seat home-built plane sold in kit form.
The plane has been taken to the National Traffic Safety Board’s facility in Griffin to complete the investigation, according to officials.
The Federal Aviation Administration is also assisting in the investigation. The Polk County Police Department is handling the investigation locally.
Polk County Police Chief Kenny Dodd said witnesses said the plane clipped some trees and dropped from the sky.
“It looked like the left wing hit first, and the plane spun itself on the ground,” he said.
Brazier said Haralson County 911 was called first, and officials there called in Polk County as well because of the location.
However, Brazier said it was actually the Georgia Department of Forestry employees who were first at the crash site. “The Georgia Forestry unit just happened to be down the road from it. They thought it was a car fire and went to assist,” he said.
Staff Writers Melody Dareing and Jake Carter contributed to this report.