Plane Carrying 8 People Crashes Off NC Coast

Coast Guard says debris field has been found
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 14, 2022 2:06 PM CST
8 Missing in Plane Crash Off North Carolina Coast
The aircraft, a single-engine turboprop Pilatus PC-12 like this one, is missing off the coast of North Carolina.   (AP Photo/Liam Savage)

Crews are searching the ocean off North Carolina after finding a debris field where a small plane carrying eight people went down Sunday, the Coast Guard says. Watchstanders received a report of a possible downed aircraft about 4 miles east of Drum Inlet from a Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point air traffic controller Sunday, the Coast Guard says. The air traffic controller reported that the aircraft was behaving erratically on radar, then disappeared from the screen. The single-engine Pilatus PC-12/47 crashed into the water approximately 18 miles northeast of Michael J. Smith Field in Beaufort, North Carolina, about 2pm Sunday, according to an email from the Federal Aviation Administration on Monday.

A preliminary accident notification on the FAA’s website noted that the aircraft "crashed into water under unknown circumstances," the AP reports. FlightAware listed a departure for that plane from Hyde County Airport at 1:35pm Sunday and noted it was last seen near Beaufort at 2:01pm. A total of eight people were aboard, the Coast Guard said in a statement. Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer Edward Wargo said searchers have found a debris field in the area. The search included boat crews launched from Coast Guard Station Fort Macon and Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Air Station Elizabeth City, local fire and sheriff's department personnel, and National Park Service beach crews, the agency said.

(Read more North Carolina stories.)

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