Plane On The Way To Ohio State University Vanishes; Search ContinuesBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
A plane on its way to Ohio State University has disappeared after it took off from an airport near Lake Erie late Thursday. The search continues as neither bodies or debris have been recovered. NBC News reported that the Cessna Citation 525 took off at 10:57 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 29, from Burke Lakefront Airport. A short time later, air traffic control officials lost contact with the aircraft.
A spokesperson for the airport confirmed that the aircraft had three adults and three children on board. The passengers were believed to have watched a Cleveland Cavaliers game at the Quicken Loans Arena. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the aircraft was on its way to Ohio State University in Columbus. While the plane is kept at a hangar at the school, its passengers are not affiliated with the institution.
The occupants were Superior Beverage Group president and CEO John T. Fleming, his wife Sue, sons Jack and Andrew as well as two close friends. Fleming was piloting the plane.
On Saturday, local source WKYC.com reported that the Coast Guard has temporarily suspended its search for the missing plane. Michael Mullen, chief of response for the Coast Guard 9th District, extended his condolences to the passengers' families and friends.
The search was said to have lasted 20 hours and covered over 128 square miles of Lake Erie. Its suspension was done with "extreme care and deliberation."
According to USA Today, recovery efforts for the plane has resumed on Sunday. FlightAware, a tracking service, was only able to detect three location pings for the missing aircraft.
The last ping indicated rapid altitude loss. However, no distress signals were received.
It was noted that the aircraft took off westward from the airport on Thursday. It then turned around north across the lake. The Coast Guard was notified about its disappearance by air traffic control at Burke less than 30 minutes after it took off at around 10:57 p.m.