The Piper PA-31, a twin turboprop, was leaving South Carolina on Oct. 25, en route to the Bahamas when air traffic controllers at the Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center lost contact with the plane on radar around 11:33 a.m.
Just before losing contact, the pilot sent a report of an in-flight emergency.
The plane departed from Robert F. Swinnie Airport in Andrews, reported Fox Carolina.
MISSING PLANE update:
This graphic shows the moment a flight from Andrews, SC dropped off radar.
It was cruising at an altitude of 25,000 ft at 232 mph after making a U-turn toward Charleston. Coast guard choppers to join search at 1st light pic.twitter.com/yIl4faG6kv
— Brodie Hart (@BrodieHart) October 26, 2018
The first light search on Friday morning was being conducted by the Coast Guard’s HC-130 Hercules aircraft, the agency said. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton continued the search throughout the night but didn’t find anything.
On Thursday night, the Coast Guard said that two of its vessels, including the Hamilton, and a commercial vessel, the Seabulk Challenge, were searching for the plane approximately 110 miles east of Charleston.
Two of the Coast Guard’s helicopters from the air station in Elizabeth City and a Navy P-3 Orion, a surveillance aircraft, were also involved in the search.
The search for the missing plane was confirmed by the Federal Aviation Administration, which directed all inquiries to the Coast Guard. The administration said it would not confirm the aircraft registration or ownership until they located the missing plane. It wasn’t known how many people were on board the plane.
#Update @USCG HC-130 Hercules aircraft from #USCG Air Station Clearwater is conducting a first light search for the downed civilian aircraft approx. 110 miles east of #Charleston, SC. The #USCG Cutter Hamilton crew searched through the night and remain on scene. #BreakingNews pic.twitter.com/ACLwQ2pMLK
— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) October 26, 2018
The Coast Guard’s Base Elizabeth City is located across 880 acres in northeastern North Carolina.
It includes an aviation logistics center, an aviation technical training center, an air station, a small boat station, and a national strike force.
“The Base is a regional command that provides logistics, engineering, administrative, financial, purchasing, and healthcare services to Coast Guard units throughout North Carolina,” according to the base’s website.
“The Base Commander synergizes field support delivery, establishes local command unity, and integrates the technical authority of logistics and service centers, product and service lines, and local, coordinated service delivery while standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our operational partners to ensure the delivery of professional, responsive and cost-effective services to the American public.”