Plane missing since 1997 possibly found in Mackinac County

Plane wreckage, believed to be from the 1997 crash, was found by National Forest personnel Wednesday near St. Ignace.

MACKINAC COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating after a plane was found in the Upper Peninsula.

The NTSB tweeted out the discovery on Thursday.

According to records, a Piper-PA-28-235, went missing on September 14, 1997 after departing from Drummond Island with the intended destination of Howell, Michigan.

The airplane, pilot and passenger have not been seen since the that time.

The NTSB said a search did not locate either the airplane or the pilot and passenger.

No flight plan was on file.

The airplane was presumed destroyed and the pilot and passenger are presumed to have sustained fatal injuries.

According to the NTSB report:

A friend of the pilot said that the pilot normally flew direct GPS and was known to experience vertigo easily. Other pilots reported that the weather that day went down to 200 feet overcast.

The Coast Guard and the Civil Air Patrol initiated a search.

Crews searched for four days before abandoning the search for lack of sighting evidence of the airplane.

According to records, Mark and Janet Davies, of Howell, were aboard the plane at the time of its disappearance.

According to Toronto Air Route Traffic Control Center NTAP data, the airplane departed Drummond Island at 3:53 p.m. and was observed flying south before turning 180 degrees before disappearing from their radar.

“I saw them load the airplane, taxi out and depart." said James Bailey, the manager of the Drummond Island Airport.

Bailey was a friend of the couple and was likely the last person to see the two alive.

“That’s the last anybody saw them I guess," Bailey said. "I do know somebody who saw an airplane, that was a Cherokee like that, over by Castle Rock on that day, flying low underneath the clouds, underneath the fog.”

Plane wreckage, believed to be from the 1997 crash, was found by National Forest personnel Wednesday near St. Ignace.


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