Recovery efforts are expected to begin Sunday for a small plane carrying six people that disappeared over Lake Erie after taking off Thursday night from Cleveland’s lakefront airport.
On Friday night, the U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for the twin-engine plane with six people from the Columbus suburb of Dublin aboard.
They were traveling home from a Cleveland Cavaliers basketball game, the pilot’s father, John W. Fleming, told The Columbus Dispatch.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson expressed condolences Saturday to those who lost loved ones as the city took over from the U.S. Coast Guard after a 128-square-mile search ended in disappointment.
A dive team was called in to begin the preparations, but by afternoon officials said weather and water conditions would not allow for divers to get started until the next morning.
John T. Fleming, chief executive of a Columbus-based beverage distribution company, was piloting the plane.
His wife, Suzanne; their two teenage sons, Andrew and John; nicknamed “Jack”; and two neighbours whose names have not yet been released were aboard.
“We’re just in shock,” John W. Fleming told the newspaper.
Tracking service FlightAware logged only three location pings for the Cessna Citation 525 aircraft after take-off from Burke Lakefront Airport, and the last one indicated rapid altitude loss.
Authorities said they received no distress signals from the pilot.
Cleveland officials expected three vessels, all equipped with sonar technology, to be on the water Sunday.
Read more: http://www.usatoday.com