Specialized sonar brought in for missing plane search in Lake Erie

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WYTV) – The U.S. Geological Survey is offering up some equipment in the search and recovery effort for a missing plane and its six passengers in Lake Erie.

The USGS “Muskie” has arrived in Cleveland. The equipment is a sector drop sonar, which could help detect transmission from the cockpit voice recorder.

Along with Cleveland crews and a NTSB team, The U.S. Coast Guard also has a 25-foot vessel on standby to assist, and the Cleveland Metroparks Zodiac that had been deployed earlier is now out of the water. The Army Corps of Engineers is on standby to deploy a tug if needed.

Additional debris has been retrieved along the shoreline east of Burke Lakefront Airport. That debris has not yet been confirmed as relevant to this investigation. Shoreline searches will continue as long as daylight allows.

Superior Beverage CEO John T. Fleming was piloting the plane that disappeared over Lake Erie on Dec. 29. His wife, two teen sons, and their neighbor, Brian Casey, and his daughter, Megan, were also on the plane. They had attended the Cleveland Cavaliers game and were on their way back to their home in the Columbus area.