Searchers found a debris field in the ocean off North Carolina where a small plane carrying eight people went down Sunday night, the Coast Guard said Monday.
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 Coast Guard said. The air traffic controller reported that the aircraft was behaving erratically on radar, then disappeared from the radar screen.
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 total of eight people were aboard, the Coast Guard said in a statement.
Searchers have found a debris field in the area, Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer Edward Wargo said.
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 and National Park Service beach crews, the agency said.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press.