THE US Coast Guard (USCG) said on Friday morning that authorities have suspended the search for a small plane that apparently crashed into the ocean off Eleuthera this week with four people on board, including two children and a prominent New York businesswoman.
Coast Guard aircraft had been searching for the United States-bound plane along with Customs and Border Patrol and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force since Tuesday. Debris recovered from the sea east of Eleuthera on Wednesday was determined to have come from a twin-engine Mitsubishi MU-2B aircraft, the type with which air traffic control lost contact as it travelled from Puerto Rico to Florida on Monday.
The USCG said the Mitsubishi MU-2B was 37 miles east of Eleuthera on Monday afternoon 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.
The people on board the plane - tail number N220N - have been identified as Nathan Ulrich, 52, of Lee, New Hampshire, and Jennifer Blumin, 40, of New York, along with her sons Phineas, 4, and Theodore, 3.
Ms Blumin was founder and CEO of Skylight Group, which provides event space around New York City, specialising in the fashion industry. The company released a statement confirming that she and members of her family were on the plane.
The plane was at about 24,000 feet when air traffic control lost contact shortly after 2pm on Monday. Mr Ulrich was listed as the pilot but it was not known who was flying it at the time.
Ms Blumin owned the plane through a consulting company, according to New York State and aviation records. New Hampshire-based Mr Ulrich is the founder and co-owner of Xootr, a company that manufactures kick scooters and folding bicycles.