UPDATE: Coast Guard suspends search for small overdue aircraft

Louisiana
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (U.S. Coast Guard)- UPDATE: The Coast Guard suspended its search for a small private aircraft and pilot in the Gulf of Mexico, Sunday.

Coast Guard crews searched over 62,565 square-nautical miles for approximately 21 hours but were unable to find the aircraft or pilot.

Involved in the search were:

  • Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile HC-144 Ocean Sentry air crew
  • Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi HC-144 Ocean Sentry air crew
  • Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater Lockheed HC-130 air crew
  • Secretaria de Marina 267 foot Offshore Patrol Vessel ARM VERACRUZ

“After the utmost consideration and review of all factors involved in this search and rescue case, the Coast Guard has made the difficult decision to suspend its active search efforts,” said Cmdr. Drew Casey, search and rescue mission coordinator from the Eighth Coast Guard District. “We extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Steven Schumacher.”

ORIGINAL: The Coast Guard and Secretaria de Marina, the Mexican Navy, are searching for the pilot of a small overdue aircraft that likely crashed in the Gulf of Mexico, Thursday.

Missing is Steven Schumacher from Missouri, the pilot of the overdue Piper Aztec twin-engine plane, tail number N778PA. There were no passengers with him.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report from Schumacher’s family member, at approximately 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, that Schumacher did not reach his destination.

Schumacher left Missouri Wednesday afternoon and was scheduled to land in Gonzales, Louisiana, at approximately 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Schumacher’s last known position was 380 nautical miles south of Louisiana and 300 nautical miles east of Corpus Christi, Texas. An online flight tracker’s last contact for the plane indicated it was about 50 feet above the water.

Involved in the search are:

  • Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile HC-144 Ocean Sentry air crew
  • Secretaria de Marina vessel

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