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Recovery Crews Find More Debris, But No Answers in Search for Missing Plane

photo of Lake Erie
The plane disappeared shortly after takeoff with 7 passengers on board.

The search continued Tuesday for debris related to an aircraft that disappeared on Lake Erie.

More than 120 pieces of debris have been recovered from Lake Erie and its shores, but it’s unclear how many of those pieces are related to the missing Cessna 525 Citation. City of Cleveland Safety Director Mike McGrath says recent warm weather has made searching the 4-mile-long stretch of the lake more convenient.

"The weather actually has been cooperative. The lake’s had a light chop, the winds have been light, and the captains are operating out there quite efficiently," McGrath said.

But the seven vessels and four diving crews, which have been out on the lake for three days, have not been able to locate an engine, a cockpit voice recorder or an emergency locator transmitter.  The transmitter sends out a signal, and the city’s Interim Director of Port Control Fred Szabo says crews are trying to locate it.

"There’s actually a piece of equipment on its way to Cleveland now that’s specifically designed to detect that particular frequency and we’re hopeful that it will find it for us," Szabo said.

Cleveland's Division of Police is overseeing the shoreline search, while the Division of Fire is focused on the lake, using solar technology to find items underwater.  The National Transportation Safety Board will not be on the scene until search and recovery is complete.

The plane carrying six passengers disappeared from radar shortly after takeoff from Burke Lakefront airport Thursday night. Those missing are: pilot John Fleming, his wife Sue and their teenage sons John, 15,  and Andrew, 14, and their neighbors Brian Casey and his 19-year-old daughter Megan.