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  • WashingtonExaminer

    Lost jet wreckage found after 53 years

    By Ailin Vilches Arguello,


    Experts believe they have located the wreckage of a missing private jet in Lake Champlain 53 years after it disappeared with five individuals aboard.

    On January 27, 1971, a jet disappeared shortly after departing from Burlington Airport in Vermont for Providence, Rhode Island . Among those aboard were two crew members and three employees of the Atlanta -based development company Cousin’s Properties.

    Following the plane’s disappearance, initial searches yielded no wreckage, and the lake froze over four days later.

    When the ice melted, some remains of the plane were found on Shelburne Point. There were at least 17 additional search efforts.

    Last month, underwater searcher Garry Kozak and his team, used a remotely operated vehicle to locate jet wreckage near Juniper Island in 200 feet of water. The wreckage featured a similar custom paint scheme to the missing aircraft and was situated close to its last tracked position before disappearing.

    “With all those pieces of evidence, we’re 99% absolutely sure,” Kozak said .

    He said this discovery gives the families of the victims “some closure and answers a lot of the questions they had."

    “Spending 53 years not knowing if the plane was in the lake or maybe on a mountainside around there somewhere was distressing,” said Frank Wilder, whose father was a passenger on the plane. “And again, I’m feeling relieved that I know where the plane is now, but unfortunately, it’s opening other questions, and we have to work on those now.”


    The National Transportation Safety Board is looking to confirm if this is indeed the aircraft. However, they do not handle salvage operations.

    Given the discovery, families of the victims intend to arrange a memorial service.

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