Debris from what is being believed to be a single-engine plane has been discovered in south Mississippi. The plane, which was carrying three people onboard, went missing shortly after it took off from a nearby airport.
According to ABC News, the plane was flying to Summerville, South Carolina. It had stopped briefly for fuel at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. Soon after taking off at 12:22 p.m., when the plane was still less than 50 miles east of the station, it lost radar contact. While Coast Guard Capt., Brandon Lechtaler, said he believes the plane went into the water, investigators are looking for a location where that might have occurred. The last known location of the plane was 3.5 miles south of Pascagoula, as tracked by radar and cellphone signals.
Lechtaler said the search for survivors was still ongoing. Two of the three passengers are employed at a Georgia-based contracting business, RMR Mechanical. Dexter Brewer, company manager, and Gerald Miletello, vice president and co-owner, were on the plane, Bob Ray, president and co-owner, said.
Brewer’s wife, Tina Cook, believes bad weather was the cause of the plane crash. “Cause there was just lots of gusty wind and rain,” she said. “It’s just not good weather for flying.” She said she couldn’t believe her family would experience something like this. “When you see a tragedy on TV and you say, ‘Oh. Those poor people,’ and you never think it’s going to be you. Then all of a sudden it is me,” she said, as reported by Sun Herald. “It’s like you wonder how are you ever going to go on because that part of your life — that person — is the most important part of your life. He is our life. He’s the center of our universe. There’s no life without him.”
Cook said she spoke with her husband before he sat in the plane Monday. “When the owners wife didn’t hear from him and I didn’t hear from Dexter, we talked to each other and we notified the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) in Washington D.C.,” she said. “That’s when we got the ball rolling trying to get somebody to look for them, not realizing the plane had disappeared, they said, about eight minutes after takeoff.”
Lechtaler said there was “no confirmation the debris found was from the plane but it is highly likely.” He further added that there is a search and rescue underway. “We are actively searching for survivors,” he said. The search, with boats and aircraft being used as assistance, has been spread out to a location 3 miles south of Gulfport.
Families of the passengers have been taken to Pascagoula’s Coast Guard station.