Coast Guard suspends search for downed aircraft 110 miles east of Charleston

A Coast Guard rescue helicopter takes off from the deck of the Cutter Hamilton to continue searching for a downed civilian aircraft Oct. 27, 2018, 110 miles east of Charleston, South Carolina. The aircraft, a Piper PA-31, was en route to the Bahamas from South Carolina on when they declared an in-flight emergency and were lost on radar. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton)

A Coast Guard rescue helicopter takes off from the deck of the Cutter Hamilton to search for a downed civilian aircraft Oct. 27, 2018, 110 miles east of Charleston, South Carolina.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton)

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a downed civilian aircraft approximately 110 miles east of Charleston.

Coast Guard 7th District suspended the search after searching approximately 3,516 square miles for 76 hours.

“It is with a heavy heart that we suspend our search for the missing aircraft and its five passengers,” said Capt. John Reed, Commander, Coast Guard Sector Charleston. “I have spoken with the family of those that were on this plane and extend my deepest sympathies to them and all those who have been hit by this tragic loss at sea.”

The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) notified Coast Guard 7th District watchstanders Thursday of a civilian aircraft emergency at 11:33 a.m. The Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center received a report from the aircraft of an in-flight emergency, lost contact on radar and notified the AFRCC. The aircraft, a Piper PA-31, was leaving from South Carolina to the Bahamas.

Involved in the search were:

  • Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City HC-130 Hercules aircraft
    Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter
    Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton
    Coast Guard Cutter Nathan Bruckenthal
    Navy P-3 Orion
    Commercial vessel Seabulk Challenge

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