Two men from Abilene and a man from Brownwood were killed in a plane crash Thursday near Lake Coleman, Coleman County Sheriff Les Cogdill said.
The pilot was Chase Hunter Bellah, 31, of Brownwood, and the passengers were Gary Alan Morrison, 65, and Charles Cleveland Whitener, 70, Cogdill said.
The Beechcraft BE20 Super King Air that left the Abilene Regional Airport disappeared shortly before 6 a.m. The pilot had reported an electrical problem, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said.
The twin turbo-prop airplane's crash site was located at about 9:20 a.m. near Lake Coleman by helicopters from Cedar Ridge Aviation.
Representatives from the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will be returning to the crash site Friday to conduct an investigation, Cogdill said.
Whitener, also known as Cleve, was chairman and chief executive officer of Lauren Engineers & Constructors, Inc., which designs and constructs facilities in the chemicals and polymers, power, oil and gas and refining industries, according to the company website.
He founded the venture in 1984 as Lauren Constructors, Inc. as part of the Comstock Group. Four years later, the company took its current name. Lauren relocated to Abilene in 1994.
Whitener also served as chairman of the West Central Texas Workforce Development Board and Harmony Family Services and was a founding member of the board of directors for Bible Training Centre for Pastors in Tucker, Georgia, the website said.