Florida

Searchers comb Gulf waters after plane carrying 3 vanishes

The missing plane is a Piper Cherokee, like the one shown here.

The missing plane is a Piper Cherokee, like the one shown here.  (Wikipedia Commons)

The Coast Guard was battling dense fog and scouring the waters off Florida’s Gulf Coast Monday after a small plane with three people aboard failed to land on schedule Sunday.

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The single-engine plane left Brooksville on Sunday, according to officials. It was last seen on radar at 11:06 a.m., just seven miles south of its destination at Cedar Key, according to the Coast Guard.

The passengers were identified as a 65-year-old man, a 60-year-old woman and the man’s teenage son.

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The St. Petersburg Coast Guard received a call at 5:21 p.m. Sunday reporting that the white and brown single-engine aircraft was missing, Fox 13 reported. An overnight search proved fruitless, officials said.

“They battled fog overnight, but unfortunately, Mother Nature made it very difficult for us to see the surface of the ocean from the air,” St. Petersburg Coast Guard Commander Randall Brown said at a Monday morning news conference.

Cedar Key is a cluster of islands just off the mainland and south of Florida's panhandle. It is about 100 miles north of Brooksville.

No flight plan was not filed for the plane, a Cherokee Piper single engine aircraft, and there was no indication of engine trouble.

Searchers included crews from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Levy County Fire and Rescue and Cedar Key Fire and Rescue.

Click for more from Fox 13.