Coast Guard suspends search for pilot of single-engine aircraft in Lake Superior after body found

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CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard suspended its search late Saturday for the pilot of a single-engine aircraft that went down about 7 nautical miles east of Duluth, Minnesota, shortly after noon.

Coast Guard search efforts were suspended shortly after sunset after completing 10 separate search patterns, covering 35-square nautical miles.

A debris field approximately 250 yards in diameter was located early in the search, and included jet fuel and the pilot’s log book. The canopy, fuel bladder and tail section were also found.

The St. Louis County Fire Department also located what appeared to be the plane’s engine and propeller by using side-scan sonar and a remotely operated vehicle.

Shortly after midnight, EDT, Sunday, the St. Louis FD reported that they had discovered the aircraft fuselage in 135 feet of water, with the pilot inside.

Plans have been made for divers to recover the body.

Involved in the search were aircrews from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Michigan, aboard a Dolphin helicopter, and crews from Coast Guard Station Duluth aboard a 45-foot response boat and a 25-foot response boat. Crews from the St. Louis County FD and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources also searched using surface vessels.

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