Crews search for long lost plane

plane search

SHELBURNE, Vermont (NECN) A search is underway on Lake Champlain for the wreckage of a corporate jet that is believed to have crashed into the icy waters in January, 1971.

Officials from the New York State Police, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, Vermont State Police, and other agencies are participating in the search for clues in what has been called an aviation mystery. They are using sophisticated technology not available in the 1970s, the searchers said, including side-scanning sonar, underwater vehicles, a submarine, and modern underwater video equipment.

“I didn’t think this would ever happen,” says Kristina Coffey, the daughter of the pilot of the missing plane. “I have a philosophy now, that you can’t find peace until you find all the pieces.”

Coffey, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was very young when her father, George Nikita, disappeared. She said she has struggled over the years to piece together stories of what happened, and is still troubled by the fact she cannot visit her dad’s gravesite.

“I hate the fact that these men are still down there; that there hasn’t been any closure,” Coffey says.

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