FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Family members of Pervez Khan are now planning their own mission to find the missing pilot after he took off from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport this past weekend and never returned.
On Saturday, Khan, who is from South Florida, took off from FLL around noon in a Cessna 402 heading to North Eleuthera in the Bahamas.
Authorities said the plane was last seen 17 miles west off the coast of Eleuthera Island and Khan was the only person aboard.
On Tuesday, The Royal Bahamas Defense Force suspended their search effort after 20 hours of searching 5,032 square miles — with assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard.
Local 10 News spoke with Khan’s daughter, Nabiha Khan-Giordano on Wednesday, who said she couldn’t come to terms that her father was missing.
‘I didn’t believe it at first; it didn’t make sense,” she said. He knows how to fly through bad weather. I thought he must have gone off the radar to avoid bad weather.”
Family members of Khan told Local 10 News that despite authorities suspending their search, his loved ones have not given up on finding him.
‘It is crucial that we keep searching,” said Khan-Giordano. “We need to keep looking in new areas.”
“My father has flown this flight thousands of times. He’s been flying to the Bahamas for decades,” she added.
Khan’s family said they are unsure what led to his disappearance, but believe the aircraft went down or possibly crashed.
“I believe the aircraft went down, whether it crashed, or my father had to ditch -- I’m not sure which,” said Khan-Giordano.
In 1995, was involved in a runway crash that left him in serious but stable condition, according to the sun-sentinel.
Family members of Khan are holding onto hop and believe his experience will help him in a scary situation.
‘If anyone knows how to handle are really difficult situation and be under pressure, it’s my father,” said Khan-Giordano.
Family members of the missing pilot told Local 10 News they hope to generate more attention to the disappearance.
They are now asking both commercial and private pilots to join in and help find one of their own. A GoFundMe page has been created to assist with funding the private search.
#Breaking @USCG crews are assisting @TheRBDF with search efforts for a possible downed aircraft with 1 person aboard, last seen 17 miles west of Eleuthera Island, Bahamas, Saturday.— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) August 20, 2023
The missing aircraft is a Cessna 402 last reported leaving Fort Lauderdale International.#SAR pic.twitter.com/Gm1ctz7Bo9