POTEAU, Okla. — The wreckage of a small plane that disappeared while flying from Searcy, Ark., to Elk City, Okla., has been found in southeastern Oklahoma and the pilot found dead.

Le Flore County Sheriff Rob Seale told reporters that the Piper 28 aircraft and the body of 71-year-old pilot Ray Broadbent of Heber Springs was found Thursday in a heavily wooded area of southern Le Flore County.

Authorities began searching Tuesday after the Federal Aviation Administration contacted the county sheriff's office and said the aircraft had disappeared in the area after taking Monday from Searcy in central Arkansas en route to Elk City in western Oklahoma.