Ocean City Today

Plane crashes off OC coast, one body found, one missing

Plane fails to return home after touch-and-go landings performed at OC airport
By Brian Gilliland | Mar 08, 2018
Photo by: Facebook public photos

(March 9, 2018) Search and rescue teams recovered debris and the body of one victim from a single engine, four-passenger plane that crashed in the ocean and was found about five miles from the Ocean City airport late last week.

A cause for the crash has not yet been determined.

Officials have not directly stated how many people were onboard the Cessna 172 at the time of the incident, but the Coast Guard released two names of missing persons: Marcson Nwga and Benica Richard Robinson.

The body of a male, believed to be the pilot, was recovered several hours after the initial report and sent to Baltimore for autopsy. Ngwa has not been directly identified as the pilot, though his social media presence indicates an affinity for flying.

Weather has delayed continuing search efforts, with operations expected to resume on Thursday or Friday, according to the state police, who are now handling the matter in conjunction with the Natural Resources Police.

According to a Coast Guard spokesman, its involvement began and ended last Thursday.

The plane had last been seen performing touch-and-go landings at the Ocean City Airport last Wednesday evening.

Shortly after 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 1, federal officials notified the Maryland State Police Special Operations Division that an aircraft left Martin State Airport in Middle River, Maryland en route to Ocean City and had not yet returned. It also was not transmitting its locator beacon.

At 11:30 a.m., an oil slick and some debris believed to be part of the airplane was found in the ocean about a mile and a half from the airport by Civil Air Patrol personnel and the MSP Trooper 4 helicopter, near the Ocean City Inlet.

A Natural Resources Police dive team located additional debris in the area, believed to have come from an aircraft.

Using the oil slick and small debris field as a search hub, rescue personnel began a wider search of the area.

Shortly before 5 p.m. on Thursday, according to the state police, another debris field was found about 5 miles from the oil slick by a contingent of Coast Guard, Maryland State Police, Natural Resources Police personnel performing side-scanning operations in the ocean.

The aircraft, described as “severely deteriorated,” was found in this debris field, along with the body of one of the plane’s occupants.

Search operations concluded at 6 p.m. that evening, before a nor’easter with high winds struck the area and made continued operations impossible.

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