Search suspended for pilot in Fort Lauderdale-bound flight that crashed into Atlantic

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for the pilot of a small plane that crashed off the coast of South Florida.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the 2001 twin-engine Cessna Citation 560 had taken off from St. Louis Regional Airport, Friday afternoon, and was headed to Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport.

Officials said the aircraft crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, 221 miles northeast of the Bahamas.

Officials said the pilots of two F-15 fighter jets from the Florida Air National Guard witnessed the crash.

Officials said the pilot was only one on board. They said he was unable to reach air traffic control for more than an hour.

During that time, the Federal Aviation Administration tracked the flight on radar before the plane crashed.

Coast Guard conducted aerial searches covering 642 square nautical miles before calling off the search, late Saturday night.

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