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Coast Guard launches search after plane with 8 aboard crashes off North Carolina coast

At least one body has been found off the coast of North Carolina where a small plane carrying eight people went down on Sunday, officials said Monday, according to CBS Greenville affiliate WNCT

Carteret County Sheriff Asa Buck said there was “no indication” that anyone survived the crash, WNCT reported.    

The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the overall investigation into the cause of the crash.

The Coast Guard said Monday that watchstanders received a report of a possible downed aircraft about 4 miles east of Drum Inlet from a Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point air traffic controller on Sunday. The air traffic controller reported that the aircraft was “behaving erratically on radar and then disappeared from the radar screen,” the Coast Guard said in a statement.

The single-engine Pilatus PC-12/47 crashed into the water approximately 18 miles northeast of Michael J. Smith Field in Beaufort, N.C., around 2 p.m. local time Sunday, according to an email from the Federal Aviation Administration on Monday. A preliminary accident notification on the FAA’s website noted that the aircraft “crashed into water under unknown circumstances.”

FlightAware listed a departure for that plane from Hyde County Airport at 1:35 p.m. Sunday and noted it was last seen near Beaufort at 2:01 p.m. A total of eight people were aboard, the Coast Guard said.

Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer Edward Wargo said searchers have found a debris field in the area. The search included boat crews launched from Coast Guard Station Fort Macon and Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Air Station Elizabeth City, local fire and sheriff’s department personnel and National Park Service beach crews, the agency said.


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