Officials with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol have confirmed the pilot and passenger of a small aircraft have died following a crash Sunday morning.

Authorities say they hit a power line on the way down, cutting electricity to thousands.

The Federal Aviation Authority is investigating the cause of the crash, which took place about 11:30 a.m., a spokesperson for the city of Hickory told CNN.

More than 17,000 Duke Energy customers were without electricity in Catawba County as of 12:40 p.m., according to

Power was restored to most customers early Sunday evening.

Lake Hickory is about 53 miles northwest of Charlotte.