State Police divers in New York are searching a reservoir for a third person who was aboard a small Angel Flight Northeast plane that took off in Bedford Friday and crashed near Garoga, N.Y., killing two others, a Fulton County Sheriff official said.
The National Transportation Safety Board sent two investigators to the reservoir to determine what caused the Piper PA 34 aircraft to crash, a spokesman said.
Authorities declined to identify the people on board. The flight was arranged by Angel Flight Northeast, a nonprofit that provides free air travel for medical patients. The plane took off from Hanscom Field in Bedford en route to Rome, N.Y.
On Friday, officials recovered the bodies of one male and one female, Fulton County Sheriff Thomas Lorey said.
The sheriff’s office and New York State Police waited until daylight today to search the reservoir for the plane and third person, whom they believed was trapped inside.
The pilot filed an instrument flight rules plan, a document pilots flying in poor visibility routinely submit to the Federal Aviation Administration before takeoff, said Eric Weiss, a National Transportation Safety Board spokesman.
An instrument flight rules plan usually indicates the pilot may not be able to clearly see his or her surroundings, often because of thick clouds or fog, and expects to rely on instruments on the plane’s dashboard to navigate.
Investigators had not determined whether the pilot was relying on vision or instruments before the crash, Weiss said this morning.
He said he did not know what state or county the plane was registered in.
The reservoir divers are searching, about half a mile away from New York State Highway 29 outside Garoga, N.Y., is not a particularly large body of water, said Sergeant Brian VanNostrand of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.
“There’s a lot of vegetation as far as trees and everything around the edge,” VanNostrand said. “From what I understand, it’s not real deep.”