Two bodies have now been found in Lake Pontchartrain, following the crash of a small plane near New Orleans’ lakefront last week. The bodies have been positively identified as the student pilot and flight instructor who disappeared when their plane crashed on November 12th.
Early Wednesday, the New Orleans police said that they had found the body of a male in the lake near the 5400 block of Lakeshore Drive.
Officials had been searching the lake since the single-engine Cessna 172 disappeared last week, and have now positively identified the two bodies as Aftab Rab, a student, and Burt Lattimore, a flight instructor, found hours apart.
Lattimore, a native of Chalmette, had been a pilot for over 25 years, according to the general manager of Flightline, Brayton Matthews. Rab was a Mandeville local.
According to Matthews, Lattimore was a flight instructor for Crescent City Helicopters, and also did flight training for Blue Dot Aviation, the company for whom he was working on Wednesday night when the plane went down. The 172 Cessna departed from Flightline at the Lakefront Airport, and went down just after 8:30pm.
The Causeway police stated that airport officials had asked them to review radar data to try and pinpoint the exact location of the crash, and the Coast Guard said the plane had last been seen approximately one mile northeast of the airport. Search crews found some debris 1.5 miles northeast of the airport, but are unsure if it’s related to the missing Cessna.
The Coast Guard collaborated with the Houston Air Traffic Control Center, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, and the Jefferson Parish Sherriff’s Office to find the missing parties from the plane.