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Men aboard Cessna plane that crashed identified

Plane crash reported near Las Cruces airport

Authorities have released the names of the people who died in a plane crash in Dona Ana County.

The plane crash was reported near Las Cruces Thursday around 8:30 p.m., New Mexico State Police said.

The small plane crashed about four miles northeast of the Las Cruces airport, according to Carl Christiansen, with NMSP.

The single-engine Cessna caught fire upon impact, police said.

They said David Glenn Hancock, 67, of El Paso, and Morris Douglas Newton, 77, of Las Cruces, were found dead at the scene.

Authorities don't know what caused the crash.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says FAA investigators are traveling to the site and that the National Transportation Safety Board will head an investigation into the crash.

Records show that Newton was more experienced flying airplanes. According to records, Newton had an airline transport pilot certificate; Hancock was a student pilot.

It's not known who was flying the plane.

Officers at the scene used ATVs to get there because of the terrain, Christiansen said.

This is a developing story. We will continue to update this article as more information becomes available.

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