by Gary Detman
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — The Coast Guard says it will search throughout the night for a down plane off the coast of Palm Beach, carrying two people and two dogs.
According to the FAA, a Piper PA 32 aircraft crashed into the ocean around 1 p.m. on Friday with two people on board. The Coast Guard says two dogs are also on board. The plane’s tail number is N3016l, and according to FAA records, it’s registered to Simmons Pet Properties LLC., associated with Kenneth Simmons. There’s no official confirmation Mr. Simmons and his wife Alice were on the plane.
According to FlightAware, the plane left the Lantana Airport at 1 p.m., with a scheduled arrival at Marsh Harbour in the Bahamas at 2:15 p.m.
The plane’s track on FlightAware shows it hitting a heavy storm.
The plane made several trips back-and-forth from Marsh Harbor in the past week, according to FlightAware records.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office says it is assisting the Coast Guard with the search-and-rescue efforts.
The Coast Guard dispatched an MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami, the Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark (WPC-1106) and a 45-foot Medium Endurance Response Boat from Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet to help with the search-and-rescue operation.
The FAA is investigating and the NTSB will determine the probable cause of the crash.