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Wreckage of private plane found off Nauset Beach

Google Earth image of Nauset Beach
Google Earth image of Nauset Beach

Update, Nov. 4, 3:20pm

State Police divers have found wreckage, 80 feet underwater, belonging to the private plane that crashed off Nauset Beach on Sunday night.

The accident killed pilot Roger Mills of Woburn, whose body has not been found.

State and Environmental Police used side-scan sonar technology to find the wreckage two miles east of Nauset Beach, Chatham Harbormaster Stuart Smith tells CAI.

Most of it was found in the search today.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

Update, Nov. 2, 5:30pm:

The Coast Guard confirms that Roger D. Mills of Woburn was the pilot and sole occupant of the Piper-28 plane when it crashed.
As of 11:30am, the Coast Guard says, its crews had searched a total of 55 hours covering more than 2,076 square miles with no sign of the missing pilot or aircraft.

Nov. 2, 2:19pm :

The Coast Guard has suspended its rescue efforts in the search for a private plane that apparently crashed into the Atlantic off Nauset Beach on Sunday night, killing the pilot.

Roger D. Mills of Woburn is the plane’s registered owner, but the Coast Guard has not confirmed whether he was the person aboard.

A two-day Coast Guard search has turned up no sign of the plane. The Coast Guard is now assisting State Police with side-scan sonar technology to search for wreckage, according to Chatham Harbormaster Stuart Smith.

“They’ve narrowed down the search area to somewhere in the neighborhood of a square mile or so. They tow the sonar behind the Coast Guard boat in order to see if they can pick up an image on the ocean floor," said Smith.

The pilot took off from Reading, Pennsylvania, but never arrived at Chatham Municipal Airport as planned.

A State Police dive team is prepared to deploy if wreckage is found.

Patrick Flanary is a dad, journalist, and host of Morning Edition.
Eve Zuckoff covers the environment and human impacts of climate change for CAI.