NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Coast Guard on Wednesday continued to search for three men aboard a single-engine plane that went missing in the Mississippi Sound shortly after takeoff from the Gulfport airport.
The plane went missing Monday afternoon. Debris, including a piece with part of the plane's registration number, was found Tuesday.
Coast Guard spokesman Jonathan Lally identified the men onboard the plane as Dexter Brewer of Saucier, Mississippi; Gerald Miletello, of West Monroe, Louisiana; and Ron Gregory, the plane's pilot.
Bob Roy, president of Georgia-based contractor RMR Mechanical, told The Sun Herald that two of the three onboard worked for the company. He says Miletello was vice president and co-owner and Brewer was a manager. Brewer was headed to a customer meeting in South Carolina, Roy said.
Brewer's wife, Tina Cook, told the newspaper that she's hopeful her husband's alive. She says that before he boarded, he told her they'd probably fly along the coast to avoid rough weather.
The (Monroe) News-Star reported Wednesday that the plane made its first stop in Ruston, Louisiana, to pick-up Miletello. It then traveled to Gulfport to pick up Brewer and refuel.
Lally said air controllers lost radar contact with the plane after taking off from Gulfport about 12:30 p.m. Monday. The plane's last known location was about 3.5 miles south of Pascagoula, over the water.
He said crews have covered more than 1,200 square miles in their search efforts.
Coast Guard crews from New Orleans, Pascagoula, and Mobile, Alabama, are involved in the search, as is a crew from the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.