Coast Guard, Mexican Navy search for plane, Missouri pilot

Small private airplane against blue sky. Built in the 1940s. Fairchild M-62A.

NEW ORLEANS – A U.S. Coast Guard plane and a Mexican Navy vessel have been searching the Gulf of Mexico for a small plane that flew far beyond its destination in Louisiana.

The Coast Guard says Steven Schumacher was flying alone from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and probably crashed hours after missing his scheduled landing at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in Gonzales, near Baton Rouge.

A Coast Guard news release says Schumacher’s family reported him overdue two hours later. A Coast Guard spokeswoman, Petty Officer Sydney Phoenix, says an online flight tracker showed the Piper Aztec’s last known position about 11:40 p.m. Wednesday, about 440 miles past Louisiana’s coast.

The plane’s hangar lease from Cape Girardeau shows Schumacher signed it for Critical Care Response of St. Petersburg, Florida. Other records show the Florida address is residential.

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