Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

5 missing after plane crashes into gulf; Coast Guard finds debris

A twin-engine Cessna 421 went down Wednesday afternoon about 20 miles west of Port Richey in the Gulf of Mexico. The Federal Aviation Authority reports that the plane with tail number N4467D is the one that is missing. The Coast Guard sent boats and helicopters to search.

Courtesy of FlightAware (flightaware.com)

A twin-engine Cessna 421 went down Wednesday afternoon about 20 miles west of Port Richey in the Gulf of Mexico. The Federal Aviation Authority reports that the plane with tail number N4467D is the one that is missing. The Coast Guard sent boats and helicopters to search.

PORT RICHEY — The U.S. Coast Guard was searching late Wednesday night for five people who disappeared when their plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico during stormy weather.

The twin-engine Cessna 421 from Texas is believed to have gone down about 20 miles west of Port Richey. A Jacksonville air-traffic controller contacted officials at about 3 p.m. after losing contact with the plane, Coast Guard officials said.

By 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Coast Guard reported it had found a 2-mile debris field within the search area.

"It's an active search and rescue," said Petty Officer Rob Simpson.

The Coast Guard deployed two rescue boats, two helicopters and its 87-foot-long cutter to search the 84-degree waters.

Officials on Wednesday night did not release the identities of the people who were on the plane.

The crew of the plane, which was built in 1979, left about 10 a.m. central standard time from the Collin County Regional Airport in McKinney, Texas, which is near Dallas.

The flight to Tampa was to take less than four hours, according to the Web site flightaware.com.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters said controllers lost radar and radio contact with the plane when it was about 40 miles northwest of Tampa. The plane was en route to Tampa International Airport. At the time it vanished from radar, the plane was descending and was at about 5,000 feet, officials said.

"There was a report that it hit some turbulence," Peters said.

Forecasters say there were many thunderstorms in the area around the time the plane is believed to have gone down.

"They weren't particularly severe but they were gusty and it was just like a sea of them," said Bay News 9 meteorologist Diane Kacmarik. "It's kind of weird because this was in the forecast for the gulf for the last couple days."

Peters said he could not confirm how many people were on the plane, which is registered to Q4 Aviation LLC of Carrollton, Texas.

A Dallas TV station, CBS' KTVT, reported late Wednesday night that the people aboard the plane were employees of the company, which goes by the name Quality Powder Coating. The station reported that five men were on board — a company pilot, the company's owner and sales executives.

Efforts to reach the company late Wednesday night were unsuccessful.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate when there is confirmation that the aircraft is in the water, Peters said.

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Kameel Stanley can be reached at kstanley@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8643.

5 missing after plane crashes into gulf; Coast Guard finds debris 07/08/09 [Last modified: Saturday, July 11, 2009 12:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Forecast: Remnants of tropical wave continues to bring rain through the weekend

    Blogs

    After relatively dry weather through the first half of the workweek, the tropical wave remnants continue to bring an increased threat for showers and storms across the state and Tampa Bay.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast
  2. Harvey regains tropical storm strength in Gulf of Mexico

    Blogs

    MIAMI (AP) — Harvey regained tropical storm strength as it drifted in the Gulf of Mexico toward Texas early Thursday and forecasters said it could become a hurricane.

    Leo Sermiento, left, and Emilio Gutierrez, right, fill sandbags in preparation of a tropical system on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, on South Padre Island, Texas. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered the State Operations Center to elevate its readiness level and is making state resources available for preparation and possible rescue and recovery actions amid forecasts a tropical storm will make landfall along the Texas Gulf Coast.
  3. Largest Powerball jackpot won by single ticket in Massachusetts

    Blogs

    DES MOINES, Iowa - Powerball Product Group Chair Charlie McIntyre says the $758.7 million jackpot claimed by a ticket sold in Massachusetts is the largest grand prize won by a single lottery ticket in U.S. history.

    A Powerball lottery sign displays the lottery prizes at a convenience store Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, in Northbrook, Ill. Lottery officials said the grand prize for Wednesday night's drawing has reached $700 million, the second -largest on record for any U.S. lottery game.
  4. Florida education news: Computer coding, guidance counseling, career planning and more

    Blogs

    SESSION STARTERS: State Sen. Jeff Brandes refiles legislation to allow Florida high school students to swap computer coding for foreign language credits.

  5. Rays morning after: Offense showing some life

    Blogs