WAUKESHA (CNN) -- The head of a Waukesha company is among two people killed after a plane crashed near Kirksville, Missouri late Tuesday, November 5th.
Robert Groh was the president and owner of Geo-Synthetics LLC. Company officials say Groh had been in Denver, Colorado to meet with a customer. Groh is the registered owner of the plane that went down on its way back to Waukesha.
Authorities say the last radio contact with the plane happened about five miles from Kirksville Regional Airport in northeast Missouri. The wreckage was scattered along a 300-yard path.
Geo-Synthetics LLC issued the following statement on Wednesday afternoon: "Bob is remembered as man passionate about his business with a big heart for family, friends and employees. He embraced challenging situations, reveling in resolving any problem. He will be missed dearly by all that have had to the pleasure to have known him."
The coroner in Missouri says the pilot of the plane was flight instructor James Quinn of Wauwatosa, who would have turned 67 years old on Thursday.
"Jim was a colleague for 13 years. I consider him a friend -- a great guy, fun guy," Jeff Baum, President of Wisconsin Aviation in Watertown said.
Baum was Quinn's boss. He was also the first person to realize something was not right.
"I was called by air traffic control when the plane did not close its flight plan down in Missouri," Baum said.
Air traffic controllers in Kansas City noticed a plane did not check in. A search was launched, and hours passed before Baum's phone rang again.
"I was in touch with air traffic control and the state patrol, and I got a phone call maybe 11:00 (Tuesday) night that they had found the wreckage," Baum said.
The wreckage was discovered in a bean field near Kirksville, Missouri -- and the bodies of Quinn and Groh were recovered near the wreckage.
Baum says Groh was a new pilot, and had taken Quinn along for the trip.
"This is what we call a mentoring pilot trip where Jim would go along. He would be instructing Bob," Baum said.
The Sheriff's Office in Missouri says the plane was on a final approach to the airport in Kirksville before disappearing from the sky.
Baum says he is baffled by the crash. It did not appear at the time the plane went down that conditions were bad -- and Baum says the plane was in great shape with a pilot on board who was experienced.
Federal officials are now looking into the cause of the plane crash.
Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.