A husband and wife were killed in a plane crash on Monday night after their airplane disappeared off the radar about eight miles outside of Simsbury Airport.
Donald Derocher, 73, and Josephine Derocher, 74, former Connecticut residents, retired to Florida and were flying in to attend the funeral of Donald Derocher's father.
"He was on his way up here to attend the funeral for my dad and for some reason the plane went down," Robert Derocher, Donald's brother, said.
Robert spoke to NBC Connecticut from his Coventry home Tuesday night. He said his brother was an experienced pilot.
"Something strange really had to have happened," he said.
Robert Derocher said the family is heartbroken, but they know Donald died doing what he loved.
"He says when I stop flying there will be a hole in the sky," he said. "So I guess we now have a hole in the sky."
The plane was a 1965 Piper PA-28-180 which is registered to Donald Derocher.
The FAA reached out to the Simsbury Airport around 7:30 p.m. Monday to report that a plane headed toward Bradley Airport was missing from the radar.
Canton police began investigating around 8 p.m. and State Police helicopter began searching for the plane in an area between Morris and Windsor Locks and located the wreckage just before 10:30 p.m.
A State Police helicopter located the plane on top of a ridge off Gracey Road known as Onion Mountain in Canton. It took emergency crew about 20 minutes to reach the plane because it is in a heavily wooded area and is difficult to reach.
Steve Libera, of Simsbury, said he saw about 10 firetrucks go by his house and he knew something was wrong.
“One of my neighbors came up and said that her daughter heard what sounded like fireworks at around 6:15 and that’s supposedly when the plan went down,” Libera said.
Officials also said the small plane was registered in Florida.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.
"Our ultimate goal is always to determine probable cause of what the accident is, that can prevent it again," Jay Neylon, said. "At this point, it's too early to speculate or even guess what could have caused this accident."
More photos of the crash scene are posted on the Canton Patch Web site.