Metro-East News

Plane that departed East Alton airport crashes, vanishes in Atlantic Ocean near Florida

Watch flight test pilots push their Cessna planes to the limit

Textron Aviation produced this video showing a variety of its aircraft, including the Citation Longitude and Scorpion tactical jet, performing flight test maneuvers over Wichita and Kansas. Video courtesy of Textron Aviation
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Textron Aviation produced this video showing a variety of its aircraft, including the Citation Longitude and Scorpion tactical jet, performing flight test maneuvers over Wichita and Kansas. Video courtesy of Textron Aviation

An aircraft that departed from St. Louis Regional Airport in East Alton has reportedly vanished in the Atlantic Ocean after flying erratically and crashing into the water.

A search was underway for the Cessna Citation V, and it is believed the pilot was the only person aboard the flight, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

The plane left the airport at around 1:30 p.m. Friday and crashed into the ocean roughly 300 miles east of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in the early evening, the Sun Sentinel reported. The plane was scheduled to land at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, but several pilots watched the plane crash into the ocean.

The plane is registered to Manalapan, a LLC located on an island in the area.

“The aircraft was out of communication with air traffic controllers for more than one hour before it crashed,” FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen told the Sun Sentinel.

The planes flight records show it making a “quick” drop in speed and altitude, going from 413 miles per hour to 295 in a single minute.

The path then became erratic for roughly 13 minutes, tossed in all directions, the Sun Sentinel reported.

The News-Democrat will update this story as it develops.

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