Weather limits search for plane that vanished over Lake Erie

CLEVELAND (AP) —An underwater locator beacon will be used Thursday to search for a plane carrying six people that vanished last week over Lake Erie shortly after takeoff, officials said Wednesday.

The search was hindered Wednesday by high winds and waves that did not allow boats and dive teams onto the lake. Officials said a technician from the National Transportation Safety Board will be on the lake Thursday to see if the locator beacon can detect a ping from the plane’s emergency locator transponder.

MORE: Plane disappears over Lake Erie with 6 Dublin residents aboard

The city said more debris from the plane was found Wednesday during a search of the shoreline east of Burke Lakefront Airport by law enforcement officers on foot and horseback.

The Columbus-bound Cessna 525 Citation, piloted by John T. Fleming, president of a Columbus beverage distribution company, disappeared from radar over the lake on Dec. 29. On the plane also were Fleming’s wife, Suzanne Fleming, their teenage sons, Jack and Andrew, and two neighbors, Brian Casey and his 19-year-old daughter, Megan Casey, a freshman nursing student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

They were returning to Columbus after attending a Cleveland Cavaliers game in downtown Cleveland.

Cleveland officials said the search team has been working with surveyors and engineers to build simulations and 3D models to determine the best areas to search based on data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration, the NTSB, the FBI and other agencies.

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