The search-and-recovery operation for the Cessna 525 Citation and its six occupants continues on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, for the private plane that went missing during the night of Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016.
The Cleveland Division of Police is leading the investigation into the crash of the small plane that disappeared from radar shortly after takeoff from Burke Lakefront Airport Thursday night after the plane’s occupants, all from the Columbus, Ohio area, had attended a Cavaliers basketball game. The Cleveland Division of Police is working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.
Debris that’s been termed “consistent with the Cessna 525” has been recovered both as it has washed ashore and by the search-and-recovery teams on Lake Erie. To date, at least 120 pieces of such debris have been found and will be used in the investigation of the plane crash. (https://clecityhall.com/2017/01/03/recovery-operation-update-8/) In addition, a bag that washed ashore and was found near a private harbor on Sunday, January 1 has been confirmed to be from the missing plane and is also part of the investigation.
Calvin Williams, chief of the Cleveland Division of Police stated:
“We want to remind everyone that this is an active investigation. If you see something that could be debris from the plane, we are asking people to avoid touching it, and to call the Division of Police immediately.”
Anyone who finds possible debris from the wreckage is asked to call the non-emergency number of the Cleveland Police at 216-621-1234 or Burke Lakefront Airport at 216-781-6411.
Related Reading: Coast Guard Ends Search and Rescue for Plane Missing in Lake Erie
Search Ongoing for Private Plane Missing Over Lake Erie
Immediately after the plane disappeared from radar on December 29 with no prior distress calls from pilot John T. Fleming, the U.S. Coast Guard, along with assistance of the Royal Canadian Air Force began a search-and-rescue operation that continued through Saturday, December 31, at which time the Coast Guard announced that those operations would cease and efforts would be changed to a search-and-recovery operation. With the change in status of the search efforts, responsibility for the search changed from the Coast Guard to the City of Cleveland.
Difficult weather and water conditions prevented the search-and-rescue operation from beginning on December 31, but Sunday, January 1 dawned enough improvement that search teams from the Cleveland Fire Department, the U.S. Coast Guard, and Underwater Marine Contractors were able to begin their search for the plane in earnest on Lake Erie, with the Cleveland Division of Police lending a hand from the air via helicopter.
Since then, additional assistance is coming from the New York State Police, Akron Fire, Brecksville Fire, Cleveland Metroparks Rangers and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to help find and recover the lost plane and its occupants who have been identified as John T. Fleming, his wife, Suzanne and their two teenage sons, Andrew and John (Jack), neighbor Brian Casey and his daughter, University of Wisconsin-Madison freshman Megan Casey.
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