Coast Guard continues to search for missing Navy pilot in Lake Ponchartrain

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Coast Guard continues to actively search Monday for a U.S. Navy pilot after the airplane he and the other pilot were aboard crash landed in Lake Ponchartrain late Saturday.

Watchstanders from the Eighth Coast Guard District Command Center received a call at approximately 6:40 p.m. Saturday, from the Air Traffic Control at Lake Front Airport stating that a U.S. Navy T-34 training plane was no longer visible on radar. The Coast Guard launched two rescue boats and crews from Coast Guard Station New Orleans and an MH-65C rescue helicopter and crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans.

The Coast Guard is currently searching one mile north of Lakefront Airport and searching a drift area in both northeast and southeast directions. As of Monday morning, the Coast Guard has searched an area of 328 nautical square miles and continues to search.

The Eighth Coast Guard District searched continuously through Sunday until nightfall and resumed its search early Monday with an MH-65C rescue helicopter and crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans and a 25-foot rescue boat and crew from Coast Guard Station New Orleans.

Also assisting in the search are the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Department, Coast Guard Auxiliary crewmembers and the Louisiana Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Weather conditions at the time of the crash were: air temperature 50 degrees Fahrenheit, water temperature 52 degrees Fahrenheit and teh winds were calm.

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