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8 missing in small plane crash off North Carolina coast

Coast Guard
Posted at 1:38 PM, Feb 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-14 15:38:51-05

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (AP) — The Coast Guard says searchers have found a field of debris off the coast of North Carolina near where a plane carrying eight people disappeared from radar.

Watchstanders received a report of a possible downed aircraft about 4 miles east of Drum Inlet on Sunday.

The report came in from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, where an air traffic controller reported the aircraft behaving erratically before disappearing.

The Coast Guard says eight people were aboard the single-engine Pilatus plane. WCTI, the ABC affiliate in the area, said four of those on board the plane are believed to be teenagers who were returning from a hunting trip.

Coast Guard boat crews and a helicopter aircrew searched the area.

Local fire and sheriff's department and National Park Service beach crews also responded.