Coast Guard searches Gulf of Mexico for missing plane

2018-01-04 20:14
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Texas  — The US Coast Guard searched the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday for a small plane that didn't land at its scheduled location in Central Texas and stopped responding to air traffic controllers.

The pilot of a Cirrus SR-22 left Wednesday afternoon from a small airport in Oklahoma City after filing a flight plan to land in Georgetown, Texas, about 40km north of Austin. The pilot was flying alone.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson Lynn Lunsford said the plane kept flying and was last observed on radar 352km northwest of Cancun flying, at 4 600m.

Coast Guard spokesperson Lexie Preston in New Orleans said Thursday that the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, relayed to Coast Guard searchers that the pilot was the only person aboard the plane.

NORAD launched two F-16 fighters from a base in Houston and made contact with the plane, NORAD spokesperson  Mary Ricks told ABC News. The fighters performed military maneuvers in an effort to gain the pilot's attention, but the pilot appeared to be unresponsive, she said.

The plane is registered to Oklahoma-based Abide Aviation.

Preston said Coast Guard aircraft were searching a broad area Thursday off the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.

Read more on:    mexico

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