Relatives say the chief executive of a beverage distribution company was piloting the plane that disappeared overnight shortly after takeoff from a Cleveland airport along Lake Erie’s shore.
As crews searched the waters Friday, the parents of Superior Beverage Company executive John T. Fleming confirmed to multiple media outlets that he was the pilot.
Fleming’s father tells The Blade newspaper in Toledo that the other five people on the plane were Fleming’s wife, two teenage sons, a neighbor and the neighbor’s daughter. John W. Fleming also described his son as “an experienced pilot.”
The Columbus-bound aircraft disappeared from radar about 2 miles over the lake late Thursday. Why it vanished remained unclear.
Searchers have found no sign of debris. They say the waters being searched are about 50 feet deep.
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