No sign of plane in Lake Champlain search

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BURLINGTON (AP) - Crews have completed their weekend search for a missing plane that went down in Lake Champlain more than 40 years ago without finding any definitive evidence of the aircraft, but with some new leads.

The search for the 10-seat Jet Commander started on Friday and ended Sunday. Crews covered 15 square miles of the lake bottom using sonar, a manned mini-submarine, divers, and other technology.

Investigators plan to evaluate their new information and may initiate further operations as a result.

"Searchers have had a great opportunity to deploy new technology in hopes of bringing closure to the families of those missing," said Vermont State Police Lt. James Whitcomb.

The private jet carrying five people went missing after leaving the Burlington airport on a snowy night on Jan. 27, 1971. It was headed to Providence, Rhode Island. Those aboard included three employees of the Atlanta, Georgia, development company Cousin's Properties and two crew members.

New York and Vermont state police worked together on the search.

"Searchers were inspired by family members of missing pilot George Nikita," Whitcomb said. Family members came to witness the search.

Some items from the plane washed up over the years.


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