FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Coast Guard ended a search for a downed aircraft about 220 miles northeast of Marsh Harbor, Bahamas on Saturday.
A Cessna Citation V crashed in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday afternoon after Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport air traffic controllers lost communication with the 2001 twin-engine plane. The Florida Air National Guard dispatched two F-15 fighter jets from the Homestead Air Reserve. The pilots spotted the Cessna 560 shortly before it went down.
The Cessna left from St. Louis Regional Airport in East Alton, Illinois, about 2:35 p.m., and it descended rapidly and crashed in the ocean about 6 p.m., according to Bergen. The F-15 fighter jets did not fire at the Cessna.
"Suspending a search is one of the most difficult decisions we ever have to make, and we never make it lightly,” said Christopher Eddy, search and rescue mission coordinator at Coast Guard 7th District. “We always want the best case scenario to happen and will continue to monitor for new information that could aid responders.”
According to FlightAware records, the N832R Cessna, owned by Hypo Consulting LLC, made a sudden drop in speed about 5:45 p.m. AirNav RadarBox records show there were erratic changes in speed and altitude.
Copyright 2019 by WPLG Local10.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.