CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Equipment from the U.S. Geological Survey in the search and recovery effort for a missing plane and its six passengers in Lake Erie led to new findings Thursday.
An underwater locator beacon detector picked up multiple transmissions from what is believed to be the Cesna Citation aircraft that went down a week ago.
That will help search and recovery efforts narrow the search to a 125-by-325 foot area.
Weather conditions did not allow for divers to enter the water of sonar equipment to be used.
The USGS “Muskie” arrived in Cleveland Thursday.
The equipment is a sector drop sonar, which could help detect transmission from the cockpit voice recorder.
Along with Cleveland crews and a NTSB team, The U.S. Coast Guard also has a 25-foot vessel on standby to assist, and the Cleveland Metroparks Zodiac that had been deployed earlier is now out of the water. The Army Corps of Engineers is on standby to deploy a tug if needed.
Additional debris has been retrieved along the shoreline east of Burke Lakefront Airport. That debris has not yet been confirmed as relevant to this investigation. Shoreline searches will continue as long as daylight allows.
Superior Beverage CEO John T. Fleming was piloting the plane that disappeared over Lake Erie on Dec. 29. His wife, two teen sons, and their neighbor, Brian Casey, and his daughter, Megan, were also on the plane. They had attended the Cleveland Cavaliers game and were on their way back to their home in the Columbus area.
Superior Beverage Group Executive Vice President Joseph McHenry released the following statement on the company’s website:
We have learned that our valued colleague and leader John T. Fleming, President and Chief Executive Officer of Superior Beverage Group, his wife Sue, sons Jack and Andrew, and two close friends were involved in an aircraft accident near Cleveland Thursday night. While search and rescue operations are under way, we are focusing our efforts on supporting the families involved. We are working closely with the proper authorities conducting the investigation. We appreciate the efforts of the first responders on the scene.
As we all await the results of the search and rescue efforts, our hearts are with John, his wife, their sons, and close friends on board, as well as with their loved ones and everyone in the Superior Beverage family.
This is a difficult day for us, and we appreciate the concern and thoughtfulness extended by so many.