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Search underway after the aircraft allegedly controlled by the CEO vanishes with 6 aboard

 

U. S. Coast Guard crews in Ohio searched for hours on Friday, but found no debris after a small plane allegedly piloted by a beverage CEO of a company disappeared shortly after takeoff with three adults and three children on board.

The Columbus-bound Cessna Citation 525 departed Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland late Thursday night and disappeared from radar about two kilometers across Lake Erie, north of the airport. Why remains unclear.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that the aircraft was piloted by John T. Fleming, CEO of Superior Beverage Group in Columbus, according to his father.

The elder Fleming said that in addition to his son, the plane carried Fleming’s wife, their two teenage sons, the neighbor and the neighbor’s daughter.

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Crew heard faint signals from an emergency beacon, Capt. Michael Mullen, the Coast Guard District 9, head of the Response, told reporters during a press conference. He said the search area for 16 nautical miles to 8 nautical miles.

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The group on the plane apparently had just left the Cleveland Cavaliers game, officials told Fox 8.

The plane was on the way to Ohio State University Airport is northwest of downtown Columbus. Cox said that the aircraft is kept in a hangar at the airport, but the six people on board, — apparently of two families-are not affiliated with OSU. Their names were not released, pending notification of their relatives.

The weather caused a boat to search by night, but a U.S. coast guard helicopter and a Canadian air crew was looking for. A ship was also the head of Detroit to help.

The waters in the search area are approximately 50 feet deep, the coastguard said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were notified of the search, Mullen said.

Click for more from Fox 8.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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