Coast Guard suspends search for missing airplane in Lake Erie

CLEVELAND — The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search efforts Friday at 7:30 p.m., for a missing plane with six people aboard in Lake Erie, pending further developments.

The search covered more than 128 square miles of Lake Erie.

“The decision to suspend a search is never easy,” said Capt. Michael Mullen, chief of response for the Coast Guard 9th District.  “I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of those who lost loved ones during this tragedy.”

The search spanned more than 20 hours and included Coast Guard crews aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, an HC-130 aircraft and the Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay, as well as an aircrew aboard a Royal Canadian Air Force CC-130 from Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton, Ontario.

At 11:30 p.m., Thursday, the Coast Guard was notified by air traffic control that a Cessna Citation 525 with six people aboard headed to Ohio State University Airport in Columbus, Ohio, had disappeared shortly after takeoff from Burke Lakefront Airport approximately two miles into Lake Erie.

The Coast Guard suspends a search and rescue case with extreme care and deliberation.  After a search area is located and saturated with a maximum number of assets, resources and crew effort, and persons in distress are still not located, a decision is made to suspend a search for survivors.

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