Coast Guard searches for possible downed aircraft in waters south of Santo Domingo

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard, Puerto Rico Police and Dominican Republic Navy rescue crews are searching for a possible downed aircraft that failed to arrive to its final destination in San Juan, Puerto Rico Monday night.

Missing is the aircraft pilot, Antonio Fernandez, 67, a U.S. citizen resident of Dorado, Puerto Rico, who reportedly departed at approximately 8:26 p.m. Monday from the Las Americas International Airport, Dominican Republic aboard a company owned Cessna Citation 501 multi-jet engine aircraft; tail number N223LC. Fernandez was expected to fly his aircraft into the Isla Grande Airport, San Juan by 9:30 p.m. Monday, but there are no reports of the aircraft landing there.

Coast Guard Sector San Juan Joint Rescue Sub Center controllers received a call at 12 a.m. Tuesday from Marta Fernandez, wife of the missing pilot, who reported that her husband had not arrived to Puerto Rico from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Coast Guard controllers launched HH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Air Station Borinquen Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, and diverted Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo to initiate the search for the missing pilot.

Coast Guard controllers received at approximately 8:30 a.m. Tuesday additional information on the case from the Coast Guard Attaché in the Dominican Republic. The Coast Guard Attaché reported that Dominican aviation authorities last recorded the missing aircraft on radar at approximately three miles south of Santo Domingo, where Coast Guard air and surface rescue crews are currently focusing their search efforts.

Anyone with information that would assist in finding the whereabouts of this missing pilot and aircraft can contact the Sector San Juan Command Center at 787-289-2041.

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