Navy Pilot Presumed Dead After Crashing in Louisiana Lake

The Navy says a pilot whose training airplane crashed Saturday in Lake Pontchartrain is presumed dead.

Navy spokesman Jay Cope said Monday that Lt. Clinton Wermers, a 33-year-old a native of Mitchell, S.D., was an instructor pilot aboard a T-34C Turbomentor airplane that also carried a student aviator who survived the crash. Cope tells The Times-Picayune the aviators were assigned to the Naval Air Station, Whiting Field, near Pensacola, Fla.

The Coast Guard rescued the student aviator about two hours after the crash about a mile north of New Orleans Lakefront Airport.

Cope said the student pilot was released from the hospital on Monday, and was to return to Whiting Field.

The Navy has not releasing the name of the student aviator.