Monday, January 2, 2017, 7:40 p.m.
CLEVELAND — Search and Recovery efforts have suspended tonight for the Cessna 525 Citation that went missing Thursday evening after taking off from Burke Lakefront Airport. The search operation will continue tomorrow at first light.
The City of Cleveland remains in contact with the families of those aboard the aircraft. We ask that you continue to respect their privacy as they deal with this difficult situation.
Weather conditions today were favorable as the search continued by water, air and shoreline with crews from the Cleveland Division of Fire, the United States Coast Guard, Underwater Marine Contractors, Cleveland Division of Police, New York State Police, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Akron Fire, Toledo Fire, Brecksville Fire and the Cleveland Metroparks Rangers. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is also assisting the search and recovery operation.
The seven vessels used today in the water carried four dive teams; a Cleveland Police Helicopter searched by air; and, the Metroparks Rangers used a Zodiac, a small boat, combing the shoreline along Lake Erie east of Burke Lakefront Airport.
Caution tape in areas along the shoreline is a precautionary measure as part of the investigative process. Seeing this tape does not mean that items have been found in the area. The search and recovery process can take a long time. Please continue to respect the families by sharing only confirmed information.
During the course of search and recovery operations, Unified Command received multiple reports of debris washing ashore. Over 120 pieces of debris were recovered so far and many are consistent with what would be found on a Cessna 525 Citation. We are not sharing any further information about the debris as it is part of an active investigation.
The Cleveland Division of Police is leading the investigation, following up on all reports of debris and processing them to determine if they are relative to this investigation. Anyone who sees debris should call the non-emergency number of the Cleveland Division of Police at 216-621-1234 or Burke Lakefront Airport at 216-781-6411.
“We want to remind everyone that this is an active investigation,” said Calvin Williams, Chief of Police. “If you see something that could be debris from the plane, we are asking people to avoid touching it, and to call the Division of Police immediately.”