'Ice Road Truckers' star Darrell Ward dead at 52

"Ice Road Truckers" star Darrell Ward died in a plane crash Sunday, a rep for the show told FOX411. He was 52.

"We are saddened by the tragic loss of Darrell Ward, a beloved member of the HISTORY family. He will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time."

According to Ward's Facebook page, the reality star was headed back to Missoula, Montana, after meeting with fans at The Great American Truck Show in Dallas, Texas.

Missoula County sheriff's Capt. Bill Burt says the pilot appeared to be trying to land at a small airstrip when "something went drastically wrong." Witnesses say the plane went through a stand of trees, hitting some of them.

"An investigation is ongoing and more information will be made available at a later time as the National Transportation Safety Board will be handling the investigation," a statement on his Facebook page said. "[The] things Darrell loved most were his family, including his kids and grand-kids & trucking."

Ward's longtime friend and associate Chuck Campbell told FOX411 he was "absolutely devastated with the loss of my friend. To know Darrell Ward is an honor and a privilege that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. We say good bye to an amazing man who made everyone around him feel special. Part of me died with him."  

Ward was set to begin filming a pilot for a new documentary-style TV show about plane wreck recoveries. Ward and his co-pilot died.

Ward became a fan favorite over the past four seasons of the History Channel's docu-series. His motto was "any road, any load" and he was a self-proclaimed "adrenaline junkie."

"When Darrell wasn’t hitting the Ice Roads he would be back in Montana doing what Darrel loved best as a log hauler and occasionally helped local authorities fight forest fires," the statement read. "In his free time, you could usually find Darrell giving back to the community any chance he got, he had promoted the most recent food drive to help victims in the Louisiana Floods."

"Ice Road Truckers" follows truckers who bring supplies across frozen lakes to work camps and remote towns.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.