A twin-engine Cessna 525 Citation suddenly fell off the radar on December 29th last year, approximately two miles over Lake Erie. Inside the airplane were six passengers. John T. Fleming was the owner and was planning a trip for a family and friends to a Cleveland Cavaliers game for the holidays. However, the six passengers never made it to their destination. Apart from the pilot, Suzanne Fleming and the couple’s two sons, 14-year-old Andrew Thomas and 15-year-old John Robert, as well as a neighbor together with his daughter were on the plane.
On Friday, January 6th, Cleveland city officials announced that the search parties were able to recover the cockpit voice recorder, as well as other pieces of debris, and possibly human remains. Initial efforts to retrieve the wreckage and the occupants were unfortunately hindered by massive waves, according to Coat Guard official statement. In the search for the missing plane, the National Transportation Safety Board also got involved.
During a press conference on Friday, city officials announced that a dive team and three boats were sent to search and retrieve the wreckage earlier that day. By the afternoon, the divers were able to retrieve the cockpit voice recorder which appeared intact, as well as other pieces of debris, such as the seat from the passenger compartment, a piece of the airplane’s tail, and possibly human remains. As of now, a team is analyzing the voice recorded in Washington, said NTSB investigator Tim Sorensen.
However, neither the interim director of the Cleveland Department of Port Control, Fried Szabo, nor Sorensen are able to tell how long until the recovery and salvage operations could be concluded. During the press conference, they said that the investigation is still in the initial stages.
Nevertheless, Sorensen announced significant advancements. He said that the National Transportation Safety Board’s team of investigators already started collecting records which will be analyzed shortly. However, he also said that examining the wreckage documented will only take place once the recovery operation is complete.
Image Source: Pixabay
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