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Coast Guard Searching For Small Plane With 2 Men Aboard

MACKINAC ISLAND (WWJ) – A small plane is missing in northern Michigan near Mackinac Island. WWJ Newsradio 950’s Beth Fisher reports that the search is on for the plane with two men on board.

The men; one in his 50’s and one in his 20’s took off from St. Ignace around 8 p.m. Saturday, headed for Mackinac Island, but they never made it.

Ninth district Coast Guard chief petty officer Kyle Niemi says it should have been a six-minute flight and they’ve been looking for the plane since late Saturday night.

“It’s a short journey.  It’s only four and a half miles from St. Ignace to Mackinac Island over a small strip of Lake Huron and the flight should’ve taken about six minutes, but it was two hours after they had been overdue that the family contacted Michigan State Police who then relayed that information on to the U.S. Coast Guard.” noted Niemi.

Niemi says  the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center is leading an inland search since pings from one of the men’s cell phones have been over land and water.

“There’s no emergency transmitter or anything being broadcast or an emergency beacon or what not that traditionally is aboard larger aircraft, but the cell phone provider of one of the men was able to track data from the cell phone and came up with a couple of pings off of their tower, so we’re searching in the vicinity of those locations.” said Niemi.

The Coast Guard is searching Lake Huron and there’s an inland search as well for the Piper Saratoga single engine plane.

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