Coast Guard suspends search for missing doctor whose plane likely crashed in the Gulf
UPDATE: The Coast Guard suspended its search for a small private aircraft and pilot in the Gulf of Mexico, Sunday.
Coast Guard crews searched over 62,565 square-nautical miles for approximately 21 hours but were unable to find the aircraft or pilot.
GONZALES - The U.S. Coast Guard is combing the Gulf of Mexico for a small plane that never made its scheduled landing in Ascension Parish Wednesday.
The Coast Guard says the private aircraft piloted by Steven Schumacher of Missouri was scheduled to land in Gonzales around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. His family reported him missing later that night.
Officials say the last known location of Schumacher's Piper Aztec twin-engine plane was about 380 nautical miles south of Louisiana. His aircraft's tracking device suggests he was last recorded about 50 feet above the water.
Schumacher is believed to have been the only person on board.
The Mexican Navy is assisting in the search.
Schumacher, WBRZ learned, is an LSU-trained doctor with a trauma specialty. He worked for Saint Francis Healthcare System in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
He studied at the LSU School of Medicine and was a 1995 resident at Charity Hospital in New Orleans.
"St. Francis Family is keeping the Schumacher family in our thoughts and prayers as the search continues for him and his private aircraft," Dr. Maryann Reese, President and CEO of Saint Francis Healthcare System, said in a statement given to WBRZ Thursday.