component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop exec killed in Michigan plane crash

ST. IGNACE, Mich. - A top executive with was one of two men killed in a plane crash late Saturday in northern Michigan, officials confirmed.

Coast Guard crews found the plane wreckage Sunday at about noon after detecting a signal from an emergency locator beacon.

On board the crashed plane was Amazon's web services director, Thomas Phillips, 52, with homes in Kirkland and Mackinac Island, and Joseph Pann Jr., 29, of St. Ignace.

Phillips is a long-time tech sector executive who spent nearly 20 years with Microsoft before coming over to Amazon. He helped run part of the cloud computing services with the online retailer.

The plane left an airfield in the eastern Upper Peninsula on Saturday night, bound for Mackinac Island in the Straits Mackinac.

"The men departed St. Ignace en route to Mackinac Island that evening in a Piper Saratoga and were expected to arrive at about 8 p.m.," the Coast Guard said in a statement from its regional office in Cleveland. "The flight is only about 4.5 miles and should have taken only about six minutes."

First word of the plane's disappearance came a couple hours later. Search and rescue controllers at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie were contacted by a Michigan State Police 911 dispatcher at 10:07 p.m. Saturday. A concerned family member called the dispatcher, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard and other federal, state and local agencies took part in the search using aircraft and ships. Searchers also used location information for a cellphone that belonged to one of the men on the plane. There was no reported distress call.

The wreckage eventually was found about 100 yards from shore, three miles north of St. Ignace, on Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the crash or when services may be held.

State police said investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were expected to arrive Monday and start their onsite probe.