Coast Guard suspends search for overdue pilot

NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard suspended it’s search at approximately 8 a.m. Saturday, for a 50-year-old man who reportedly lost communications after departing St. Petersburg, Fl., Tuesday, in a single engine airplane.

The Coast Guard received a call from the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at approximately 4 p.m., Thursday reporting that Mark Nichter, a 50-year-old pilot, lost radio communications, at approximately 9,900 feet, Tuesday, 140 miles southwest of St. Petersburg, Fl.

Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala., launched an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane and crew that conducted three search patterns, totaling 1,890 square miles, an area larger than Rhode Island. An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast (UMIB) was also issued to mariners as a caution in the area.

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