NewsCovering Louisiana


Search ends for pilot in the Gulf of Mexico

Coast Guard
Posted at 5:06 PM, Oct 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-20 18:07:03-04

The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a small private aircraft and pilot in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.

The Coast Guard says that crews searched over 62,565 square-nautical miles for approximately 21 hours but were unable to find the aircraft or pilot.

"After the utmost consideration and review of all factors involved in this search and rescue case, the Coast Guard has made the difficult decision to suspend its active search efforts,” said Cmdr. Drew Casey, search and rescue mission coordinator from the Eighth Coast Guard District. “We extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Steven Schumacher.”

Steven Schumacher was reported overdue by his family on Wednesday. He was flying in from Missouri, traveling in a Piper Aztec twin engine plane, tail number N778PA. There were no passengers with him.

Schumacher left Missouri Wednesday afternoon and was scheduled to land in Gonzales at approximately 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. His last known position was 380 nautical miles south of Louisiana and 300 nautical miles east of Corpus Christi, Texas. An online flight tracker’s last contact for the plane indicated it was about 50 feet above the water, according to officials.

Involved in the search were:

  • Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile HC-144 Ocean Sentry air crew
  • Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi HC-144 Ocean Sentry air crew
  • Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater Lockheed HC-130 air crew
  • Secretaria de Marina 267 foot Offshore Patrol Vessel ARM VERACRUZ