The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for an airplane carrying eight that crashed Sunday off the coast of North Carolina.
A Pilatus PC-12 single-engine airplane with eight people aboard crashed about 4 miles east of Drum Inlet on Sunday, according to a statement Monday from the Coast Guard.
Personnel with the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina command center received a report of “a possible downed aircraft” from an air traffic controller at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, indicating that the “aircraft was seen behaving erratically on radar and then disappeared from the radar screen,” the statement said.
The report prompted the Coast Guard to launch boat crews from Coast Guard Station Fort Macon and Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Air Station Elizabeth City. Local fire, sheriff’s department and National Park Service beach crews also responded.
Searchers have found a debris field in the area, Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer Edward Wargo said.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the crash occurred at around 2 p.m. on Sunday, about 18 miles northeast of Michael J. Smith Field in Beaufort.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, the statement said.
Antonio Planas is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital.
The Associated Press