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Coast Guard searching for Navy pilot in Lake Pontchartrain

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Search suspended after dark Sunday; expected to continue Monday
  • U.S. Navy pilot missing after crash of training plane in Lake Pontchartrain
  • Second pilot rescued, CNN affiliate WDSU reports
  • Both pilots said to have clung to aircraft before it sank, Coast Guard says
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(CNN) -- The U.S. Coast Guard was searching Lake Pontchartrain, just outside of New Orleans, Louisiana, on Sunday for a U.S. Navy pilot whose plane crashed into the lake Saturday night.

The search was suspended after dark Sunday, according to the Coast Guard. Search efforts will continue Monday morning.

Air traffic controllers at New Orleans, Louisiana's Lakefront Airport notified the Coast Guard at 6:40 p.m. CT Saturday that a U.S. Navy T-34 training plane was no longer visible on radar, the Coast Guard said in a statement. The Coast Guard launched two small boats and a helicopter from Coast Guard Station New Orleans.

Two pilots were on board, and initial reports were that both were clinging to the aircraft before it sank, the Coast Guard said. Coast Guard Petty Officer Thomas Blue told CNN affiliate WDSU the other pilot was rescued and taken to a hospital.

Blue did not have information on the rescued pilot's condition.

The Coast Guard was searching a 5- by 7-mile area, centered about a mile north of Lakefront Airport, the statement said. Two small boats from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries were also involved in the search.

At the time of the crash, the temperature was 50 degrees Fahrenheit with calm winds, the Coast Guard said. The water temperature was 52 degrees.

CNN's Sara Pratley contributed to this report.

 
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