The wreckage of a missing single-engine airplane was found in Sussex County, Va., yesterday, along with the body of a man authorities believed to be the pilot.

The Beechcraft BE-35 was found in a heavily wooded area about 11 p.m. by a Coast Guard helicopter, said Janet Clements, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Emergency Services.

A rescuer was lowered to the crash site and confirmed that identification marks on the plane were the same as those belonging to the missing aircraft piloted by Chris Lake, 27, of Fairmont, W.Va., Clements said.

Authorities were waiting to make a positive identification of the victim, she said. Members of the National Transportation Safety Board were at the site to investigate the crash.

The plane was found about a half-mile from two small pieces of wreckage that were located Friday, Clements said.

Lake was flying by instruments when the small plane disappeared from flight control center radar screens in Leesburg at 6:40 p.m. Thursday during a thunderstorm.

He had left Holly Ridge, N.C., earlier the same day to return to Fairmont, Clements said.

More than 130 rescuers focused on a five-mile radius of the site where the two pieces of wreckage had been found. One scrap was from the airplane tail section, Clements said.

Searchers were hampered because the plane's emergency locator transmitter -- designed to go off on impact -- did not emit a signal.

Searchers combed the area Friday until about midnight before calling off the hunt and returning to the scene yesterday.