4 Alma Residents Still Missing After Plane Crash 7-23-2010 - WNEM TV 5

4 Alma Residents Still Missing After Plane Crash 7-23-2010

Authorities say the effort to recover the bodies of four people missing since a small plane plunged into Lake Michigan while flying a cancer patient to the Mayo Clinic is continuing.
Mason County Emergency Management Coordinator Liz Reimink said recovery efforts resumed Tuesday morning, with boats in the water and crews searching beaches between Ludington and Manistee. They also were looking for signs of the single-engine Cessna 206.
WATCH: News Conference On Lake Mich. Plane Crash
Reimink said nothing new was found Monday.
After combing the area for 27 hours, authorities abandoned hope Saturday of finding alive the four missing since the crash Friday several miles off the west Michigan coast.
"We can resume a search if credible information is received that persons missing may be alive," said Petty Officer Brandon Blackwell of the U.S. Coast Guard's district headquarters in Cleveland. "At this point, we saturated an area that's approximately 1,000 square miles ... and we've turned up nothing."
The plane was flying to Minnesota from the central Michigan town of Alma.
The pilot of the plane, Jerry Freed, 66, was rescued by boaters just hours after the plane lost power and crashed.
Freed was released from the Memorial Medical Center in Ludington Saturday afternoon, hospital spokesman Bill Kerans said. He said Freed was denying interview requests. Freed's wife Carol Freed said her husband regularly flew people to the Minnesota hospital on a volunteer basis, and had been doing so for the past 15 years.
Alma Public Schools Superintendent Don Pavlik, his wife, Irene Pavlik, Dr. James K. Hall, medical director of Masonic Pathways of Alma, and friend and co-pilot Earl Davidson remain missing.
WATCH: Alma Deals With Plane Crash Tragedy
Don Pavlik was diagnosed earlier this year with cancer of the esophagus, said Tony Costanzo, the school board's vice president. Freed and Davidson had offered to fly Pavlik to the medical center in Rochester, Minn., for treatment, he said.
Hall went along to help his ailing friend, Costanzo said.
Hall's wife said the doctor's medical bag had been recovered and that it contained a letter he apparently wrote in the final minutes before the plane went down. Ann Hall said Saturday that the letter explained the plane lost power over Lake Michigan and that they turned back with the hope of reaching land.
"We are praying to God that all (will) be taken care of," James Hall wrote. "We love you. Jim."
The plane left Alma, about 35 miles west of Saginaw, Friday morning. The craft reported having engine problems mid-flight to an air traffic controller around 10 a.m.

Alma airport officials said Freed has over 40 years of flying experience.
State police dive teams were using sonar devices to find the sunken plane.
The U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards provided helicopters and fixed-wing planes for the search. Coast Guard boats were joined by vessels from the Mason and Oceana County sheriff's departments and Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment, along with number of volunteer boaters.
A bright moon and powerful searchlights gave crews a good view of the water's surface, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Chris Legard, who was aboard a 25-foot craft based in Ludington.
If any survivors "were close to us, we would have been able to see them," he said.
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