Search Continues for Plane Bound for Patrick

Search Continues for Plane Bound for Patrick
Posted by FoM on October 03, 2001 at 09:21:02 PT
Jennifer Ellis, Victor Thompson & R. Norman Moody
Source: Florida Today
At least four Air Force, State Department and Coast Guard planes continued their search Tuesday for a single-engine crop duster that lost contact with traffic controllers Monday morning. State Department officials said they have no reason to believe foul play is involved or that the missing plane is connected with terrorist activity. The plane, an Ayres S2R-T65, is used by a State Department contractor to eradicate coca shrubs, the plants from which cocaine is produced. 
The plane, identified as an agricultural aircraft, was flying to Patrick Air Force Base from Colombia after an overnight stop in the Turks and Caicos Islands southeast of the Bahamas, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. Only the pilot, a 20-year veteran contractor with the State Department, who is a "tenant" at Patrick Air Force base, was on board. The pilot's name and hometown had not been released by the State Department on Tuesday. The pilot is not a member of the 45th Space Wing or any troops officially stationed at Patrick, spokesman Lt. Warren Comer said. State Department officials would not speculate on whether the plane could have been stolen amid fears that crop dusters could be targeted for theft by terrorists. It could have gone down in bad weather or because of mechanical problems. "Its spray boom and spray pump were pulled before the plane departed Colombia, and the spray tanks are filled with fuel for up to 12 hours of flying time," Boucher said in a press briefing. Details about the plane's flight plan back to Brevard County were sketchy, but according to a State Department briefing: About 9:15 a.m. Monday, Miami air traffic control received a position report on the plane. It is unclear how that report was made, department spokeswoman Brenda Greenberg said. Air traffic controllers out of Miami tried by radio to contact the pilot at 9:23 a.m. for unknown reasons, but did not make radio contact, State Department officials said. The last contact - how that contact was made was not released - was at 10:20 a.m. Monday, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said. Missing details and clarifications about how contact between the plane and tower was made will be made available today, Greenberg said. FAA spokeswoman Bergen went on to tell reporters the plane's pilot has not attempted to contact the FAA, she said. "We would be the first agency the pilot would contact to cancel the flight plan," Bergen said on Tuesday. Police in the Bahamas, however, said they had no report of a missing plane and officials at the control towers in Nassau and Freeport said they had no record of communication with the plane and were not aware of any plane that had gone down in the area. Poor weather hampered the search Monday, but the search had covered more than 5,800 miles by Tuesday. "We are treating this only as a search and rescue operation," Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Suddarth said. "The Coast Guard and Air Force are each flying C-130s and the State Department has two twin-engine propeller planes searching at lower altitudes." The Associated Press contributed to this report.Related Article: Source: Associated PressPublished: October 3, 2001 Copyright: 2001 APonline     A State Department plane that sprays crops in the anti-drug effort in Colombia remained missing Tuesday a day after search crews looked for the aircraft off Florida's East Coast.The single-engine plane was headed to Patrick Air Force Base in Melbourne, Fla., for scheduled maintenance, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. It left at 8:15 a.m. Monday from the Turks and Caicos Islands southeast of the Bahamas. An attempt to make radio contact about 90 minutes later by an air traffic controller in Miami failed.Only the pilot was on board the plane."It was coming up from Colombia, being ferried up, making regular stops along the way. And the pilot normally spends the night in several places as he brings the airplane back up to Florida," Boucher said.The plane's spray pumps were pulled before the aircraft left Colombia, and tanks were filled with fuel for 12 hours of flying time, Boucher said.Coast Guard and Air Force planes searched through the night and into the morning but weather hindered efforts. Complete Title: Search Continues for Missing Plane Bound for PatrickSource: Florida Today (FL)Author: Jennifer Ellis, Victor Thompson and R. Norman MoodyPublished: October 3, 2001Copyright: 2001 Florida TodayWebsite: dosenenk brevard.gannett.comRelated Articles & Web Site:Colombia Drug War News Plane Missing in Bahamas
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 03, 2001 at 10:01:26 PT
Information on Bus Crash
Today, it is with great sadness that Greyhound reports a serious accident in Manchester, Tenn., 60 miles southeast of Nashville on Interstate 24, schedule number 1115. 
Friends and family can call 1-800-884-2744 and reach the Greyhound Emergency Operation Center in Dallas to find out if their friend or family member was on board. 
Greyhound is currently cooperating with the police investigation on any cause for the accident. 
The schedule originated in Chicago, Illinois, and was bound for Orlando, Florida. The accident occurred on the Louisville, Kentucky, to Atlanta leg of the trip at 5:15 a.m. (CDT). 
There have been a number of confirmed fatalities. 
All passengers have been taken to area hospitals. 
"We have managers at the scene and at hospitals to do everything we can for our passengers - this is our priority," said Lynn Brown, Greyhound vice president of corporate communications. 
More details will be released as they become available.
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