CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) - Virginia State Police are searching for a plane that did not arrive at its destination Thursday.
Corinne Geller with the Virginia State Police said the Cessna was supposed to land at the Hampton Roads Executive Airport, coming from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport in Florida. State Police were called for help at 4:15 p.m.
Geller said troopers were searching in and around the area of the Great Dismal Swamp, using technology that is capable of picking up heat sources.
Aerial search efforts were suspended Thursday evening due to weather conditions. Geller said search efforts continued on the ground and by boat. Personnel and canine teams searched on foot.
A trooper at the Great Dismal Swamp told Deanna LeBlanc search efforts were called off at 2:30 a.m. Friday due to low visibility. Crews resumed the search at daybreak.
Civil Air Patrol, Tidewater Search and Rescue personnel, Chesapeake Fire and Rescue and State Park Rangers are assisting Virginia State Police in the search.
Troopers are looking to see if there is any wreckage in the Great Dismal Swamp, but Geller said it is not confirmed that a plane crashed in that area.
The FAA confirmed the plane is a Cessna C340 six seat, multi-engine plane. Geller would not comment on how many people may have been on board.
WAVY’s Stephanie Harris did some digging and learned more about when the plane may have gotten into trouble.
It started with a tip from a caller, reporting the possible tail number of the plane that disappeared. Because of the government shutdown, WAVY was unable to verify the information through the FAA.
Flight Aware, a live website that tracks all civilian aircrafts that file a flight plan, shed some light on what may have happened.
WAVY’s Stephanie Harris found only one flight scheduled to go from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport to the Hampton Roads Executive Airport on Thursday. It took off as scheduled at 7:43 a.m. According to Flight Aware data, the plane began its descent just before noon and it appears that something went wrong.
Data indicates the plane dropped at a rapid rate, at 780 feet per minute.
WAVY’s Stephanie Harris consulted Chopper 10 Pilot John Massey, who said, “…that sounds like he’s caught in a storm.”
Massey said the up and down drafts indicate really bad turbulence.
Anyone with information about the aircraft is asked to contact Virginia State Police at 1-800-582-8350.
Stay with WAVY on the air and online for any new information.
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