Aviation News

July 25, 2010

Passenger Wrote Goodbye Note Before Michigan Medical Plane Crash

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By: BNO News
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A Cessna 206, similar to this one above, crashed into Lake Michigan on Friday.
A Cessna 206, similar to this one above, crashed into Lake Michigan on Friday.

A Cessna 206, similar to this one above, crashed into Lake Michigan on Friday.

Minutes before a small medical plane crashed into Lake Michigan on Friday morning, killing four out of five people on board, a passenger wrote a note for their family and friends, according to local media reports.

According to The Morning Sun newspaper in Michigan, Dr. James Hall wrote the note and stuffed it into his medical bag. “Dear All. We love you. We lost power over the middle [of] Lake Michigan and [are] turning back. We are praying to God that all [will] be taken care of. We love you. Jim.” Hall’s wife, Ann Hall, released the contents of the note to the newspaper.

The Cessna 206 aircraft (N82531) crashed about eight miles (12.8 kilometers) northwest of Ludington, a city in Mason County, shortly after 10 a.m. local time on Friday. It earlier departed Alma en-route to the city of Rochester in Minnesota.

An official at Coast Guard Station Ludington said a fishing vessel witnessed the plane crash into Lake Michigan about five miles (eight kilometers) offshore. He said radar contact with the aircraft was lost around the same time.

A good samaritan pulled one of the victims out of the water and handed him over to a sheriff’s department boat. The other four people on board remain missing, and are feared to have been killed.

Federal records showed the 1971-build aircraft was registered to Alma-based Freed Construction Co. Its owner, Carol Freed, told BNO News that the aircraft was transporting a patient to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. She said the Coast Guard was providing her with updates.

“The pilot was talking to FAA air traffic control at Minneapolis center,” said Elizabeth Isham Cory, a spokeswoman for the FAA. “The pilot reported a loss of power to air traffic control approximately 10 minutes before the aircraft went down.”

Minneapolis center is a large multi-state air traffic control facility that handles high altitude traffic for a multi-state area, including parts of Lake Michigan and the state of Michigan.

Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the cause of the crash.