MACON, Miss. (WTVA) -- A federal report says the pilot of a plane that crashed in Noxubee County on May 31st was attempting to fly through severe weather at the time the plane crashed.
Tracy Shirley III of Oklahoma was attempting to fly through a break in the weather according to a preliminary report filed by the National Transportation Safety Administration,
The report says the plane was flying at 20,000 feet and the pilot was in contact with air traffic controllers in Memphis.
Shirley then asked for permission to descend to a lower altitude to remain below the freezing level and ultimately descended to 12,000 feet.
The discussion on the radio concerned the weather, and Shirley informed the tower he did have radar on board and was attempting to fly through the gap when it disappeared from radar around 5 p.m.
The report says the plane suffered an in-flight breakup.
Shirley died in the crash.
Debris from the plane was scattered for 1.25 miles in the Butler Road area southwest of Mashulaville in Noxubee County.
Shirley, the chief financial officer of Harrison Gypsum in Norman, Oklahoma, was the only person on the plane.
The multifunctional display and the engine monitor from the aircraft were recovered and are being analyzed.
The final report will be released at a later date.