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Search for missing plane, 6 aboard, yields no clues

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CLEVELAND — The disappointing search for a small plane that disappeared over Lake Erie near Cleveland’s shores carrying six people has turned into a recovery effort.

The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for the plane that vanished shortly after takeoff Thursday night from the city’s lakeshore airport. The Coast Guard said Friday it would step aside to allow Cleveland to begin recovery efforts.

Coast Guard official Michael Mullen offered his condolences to the family and friends of those who lost loved ones.

John T. Fleming, chief executive of a Columbus-based beverage distribution company, was piloting the plane. His wife, their two teenage sons, and two neighbors were aboard.

City officials and the Coast Guard have scheduled a press conference later Saturday morning to discuss the recovery efforts.

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