Coast Guard recovers body of one pilot from downed Navy T-34 training aircraft

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard recovered the body of one pilot from a Navy T-34 training aircraft, Friday, and continues searching for the second pilot, this morning.

On Friday, Oct. 30, 2009, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi received a call at approximately 4:40 p.m. from the crew aboard the floating rig Superior Ridge reporting they had spotted what appeared to be a body in the water.

The Coast Guard immediately launched an HH-65C Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Corpus Christi and dispatched a 25-foot Response Boat-Small from Coast Guard Station Port Aransas to the reported position. An HU-25 Falcon jet from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi was diverted from its assigned search pattern to provide overflight coverage.

The body of the deceased pilot was recovered by the crew of the RB-S and transported to Coast Guard Station Port Aransas to awaiting Navy personnel.

The search continues for the second pilot.

On Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi received a call from the Navy Corpus Christi base tower reporting that an air traffic controller had lost communication with a T-34 training aircraft at approximately 3:20 p.m.

The following assets have been used in the search:

  • Customs and Border Protection P3 aircraft
  • Texas Department of Public Safety aircraft
  • Coast Guard HH-65C Dolphin helicopter
  • Coast Guard HU-25 Falcon jet
  • Coast Guard Station Port Aransas Response Boat-Medium
  • Coast Guard Station Port O’Connor Response Boat-Small
  • Coast Guard Cutter Steelhead, 87-foot patrol boat
  • Coast Guard Cutter Brant, 87-foot patrol boat
  • Coast Guard Auxiliary aircraft

The Coast Guard Cutter Harry Claiborne, a 175-foot buoy tender homeported in Galveston, is scheduled to join in the search and rescue effort, Saturday.

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