MIAMI (AP/NBC) — The U.S. Coast Guard suspended the search for a family aboard a Florida bound plane, piloted by a NH man that disappeared near the Bahamas.
Nathan Ulrich, 52, of Lee, New Hampshire was piloting the small plane that was taking Jennifer Blumin, a prominent New York businesswoman, and her 3- and 4-yer-old sons to Florida.
The U.S. Coast Guard said the twin-engine MU-2B was east of the island of Eleuthera on Monday when air traffic control in Miami lost radar and radio contact with the plane. It was en route from Puerto Rico and never made it to its destination of Titusville, on the northeastern coast of Florida.
Debris that appeared to be from a plane and an oil slick was spotted in the search area east of Eleuthera but authorities were still trying to determine whether it came from the missing plane, said Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Kelly, a Coast Guard spokesman.
Coast Guard officials searched through the night Monday.
Blumin was founder and CEO of Skylight Group, which provides event space around New York City, specializing in the fashion industry. The company released a statement confirming that she and members of her family were on the plane.
"Her family is working with investigators and we politely ask that you respect their privacy at this time," the company said.
Their plane was at about 24,000 feet when air traffic control lost contact. "There's no indication of significant adverse weather at the time," Kelly said.
Ulrich was listed as the pilot but it was not known who was flying it at the time, the spokesman said. Blumin owned the plane through a consulting company, according to New York State and aviation records.
Coast Guard aircraft were searching along with Customs and Border Patrol and the Royal Bahamas Defense Force about 40 miles (64 kilometers) east of Eleuthera. A Coast Guard cutter was dispatched to the area and was expected to arrive later Tuesday to assist with the search.