The pilot and his trainee pilot aboard the plane that crashed Wednesday were found today. Local media released their names as Ali Hajj Ahmed and Pascal Abdel Ahad.
They were both part of the Aeroclub Lebanon, a flight school created in 1923.
“This morning, thanks to the relentless and combined efforts of the authorities, the plane and its crew were found,” the club posted on their Facebook page Friday.
“We at the Aeroclub of Lebanon are very sad and devastated to come forth with such news, and we would like to extend all our support and prayers to the respective families and friends with whom we share our greatest sorrow.”
The training plane, a Cessna 172 of the Aeroclub crashed in the Mediterranean sea along the coastal town of Halat, in North Lebanon.
According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the plane took off from Rafic Hariri International Airport at 10:06 a.m. and disappeared less than 20 minutes later from air navigation radars over the sea.
There was no distress signal or any kind of contact from the plane to indicate that it was in trouble, according to Arab News.
“The planes are usually in continuous contact with the control tower and there were no defects reported by those who were on board the plane,” Lebanese Aeroclub board member Michel Abboud said to the media.
A search and rescue missing was immediately dispatched, including a team from the Civil Defense, naval forces, and a helicopter,
According to the Civil Defense, the search covered a wide area at 1 km away from Halat beach and at 30-35 meters depths, and divers operated in very delicate conditions “due to the tides and winds in the area.”
The Civil Defense is now working to retrieve the plane, which was found in the sea.