Thursday, January 5, 2017, 11:00 a.m.
CLEVELAND — Search and Recovery efforts for the Cessna 525 Citation that went missing Thursday evening after taking off from Burke Lakefront Airport continue today.
First and foremost, this operation is search and recovery. At the center of these search and recovery efforts is the family of the passengers aboard that aircraft. This is an incredibly difficult situation for the family and we again ask that you respect the sensitive nature of this investigation and the family as you share information.
The Cleveland Division of Police is working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board on this active investigation. A vessel was deployed in the Cleveland harbor yesterday afternoon with a National Transportation Safety Board technician and their equipment, the underwater locator beacon. Due to the weather and water conditions, the equipment did not receive any transmissions from the aircraft.
This underwater locator beacon will be deployed to the search grid today. “The NTSB is here to provide whatever assistance we can for search and recovery, said Tim Sorensen, Aviation Accident Investigator from the NTSB. “Our main goal is investigating the circumstances and cause of the accident. The equipment is designed to assist in locating the Cockpit Voice Recorder, which would aid us in this investigation.”
Water conditions today are: Westward winds at 15-25 knots; waves between 4-6 feet, subsiding later to 1-3 feet; with freezing spray and snow showers. The United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) 75-foot research vessel, the “Muskie” is on its way from Huron to Cleveland. This vessel is equipped to handle rougher seas and can move at speeds slow enough to use the NTSB’s equipment in today’s water conditions. The Muskie will be deployed from the United States Coast Guard station, where it will dock while in Cleveland. It will head to the grid search area with the NTSB technician and equipment, a diver and sonar equipment.
The United States Coast Guard has a 25-foot vessel on standby to assist and the Cleveland Metroparks have deployed the Zodiac to assist with shoreline debris collection. Other partner agencies are on standby to assist as needed and as weather conditions allow.
Foot patrols consisting of Cleveland Divisions of Police and Fire, Cleveland Metroparks Rangers and volunteers as well as mounted units from Cleveland Division of Police and the Metroparks’ rangers will search the shoreline east of Burke Lakefront Airport from E. 72nd Street to East 185th Street. They will dispatch units to respond to other areas if debris is reported. As weather conditions permit, the Cleveland Division of Police helicopter will search the shoreline by air.
The Cleveland Division of Police is leading the investigation, following up on all reports of debris and processing them to determine if they are related 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.”
We will provide updates as they are available on the City’s blog http://www.clecityhall.com, as well as Twitter @CityofCleveland and www.facebook.com/CityofCleveland.