Coast Guard continues to search for overdue aircraft

Coast Guard 8th District NewsNEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard continues the search for an aircraft, Tuesday, reported overdue 40 miles southeast of Venice in the Gulf of Mexico, Monday.

Searching are:

A U.S. Air Force HC-130 aircraft and crew from Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fla.;

An HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft and crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala.;

Coast Guard Cutter Pompano and crew, an 87-foot cutter homeported in Gulfport, Miss.

Watchstanders at the Eighth Coast Guard District command center received a call from the Federal Aviation Administration in Houston, Monday, that a single-engine Piper PA28 departed from Jack Edwards Airport in Gulf Shores, Ala., shortly after 7 a.m., Monday. At approximately 11 a.m., Monday, FAA Houston reported that the aircraft descended 600 feet in three minutes and then lost radar contact.

There are currently no signs of a downed aircraft or a debris field in the vicinity of the aircraft’s last known position.

The Coast Guard is currently searching a 3,400 square-mile area in the vicinity southeast of Venice.

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