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Search efforts under way after Florida 'aircraft incident'

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Authorities say the plane was reported missing Wednesday night
  • The military says the civilian aircraft was providing support for a training exercise

(CNN) -- An "aircraft incident" involving a civilian plane took place near the Avon Park Bombing Range Air Field, according to a statement Thursday from MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.

The Highlands County Sheriff's Office said earlier Thursday that deputies were assisting in the search for a military plane that was reported missing about 10 p.m. ET.

However, MacDill said it was not a military plane. "The small, fixed-wing civilian aircraft was providing support to a Special Operations Command training exercise," the statement said. "There was no armament on the aircraft or military personnel."

Military officials and local authorities were conducting search and recovery efforts in the area, the base said.

The Avon Park air field is about 90 miles south-southeast of Tampa.