EPHRATAH, N.Y. (AP) — The main wreckage of a small plane that crashed last week was raised from an upstate New York pond Tuesday, but a brain cancer patient who was on the volunteer medical flight remains missing.
National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Eric Weiss said the fuselage was pulled out of the water and will be taken for inspection along with other debris found in nearby fields and woods in Ephratah, an hour west of Albany.
Frank and Evelyn Amerosa of Utica, N.Y., were aboard the Angel Flight on Friday night when the twin-engine aircraft went down, according to police and family members.
Fulton County Sheriff Thomas Lorey told local media outlets the search for Frank Amerosa will now include draining the pond and will be scaled back in the surrounding area.
Wreckage from the crash was strewn over a large area, with pieces of the plane and documents found as far as five miles away. A helicopter crew and teams of searchers, some with dogs, have been looking for Amerosa, who is presumed to be dead.
John Campbell, 70, of Stamford, Conn., was flying the couple back from the Boston area, where Frank Amerosa, a 64-year-old retired trucker, was being treated for brain cancer diagnosed about a year ago, officials and family said.
The bodies of both Campbell and Evelyn Amerosa were recovered over the weekend.
Campbell was a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight, a nonprofit group that arranges free air transportation for the sick. Angel Flight Northeast said it has set up free air transportation and medical care for more than 65,000 children and adults on about 60,000 flights covering more than 12 million miles. It was founded in 1996.
Weiss said the wreckage will be taken to a secure facility in Delaware to be examined by crash investigators.
The Piper PA 34 departed from Hanscom Field in Bedford, Mass., and was headed to Rome, N.Y., when it crashed just after 5 p.m. Friday, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said. The plane did not issue a distress call before losing radar and radio contact, the NTSB said.
Weiss said a preliminary NTSB report on the accident will be issued in about two weeks, with a final report on the probable cause in about 18 months.