Missing Pilot, Others Found Alive
MEXICO CITY (AP) _ A small, U.S.-registered plane piloted by a businessman disappeared for several hours over west-central Mexico, prompting a 12-hour search by hundreds of civilians and troops.
Searchers found the plane and its passengers Wednesday on the banks of Lake Patzcuaro, a popular tourist destination about 25 miles west of Morelia, the Michoacan state capital.
Pilot Xavier Nicolas Picot of Sunnyvale, Calif. had taken off from Tepic on Tuesday afternoon and filed a flight plan for Morelia, 135 miles west of Mexico City, according to Jose de Jesus Contreras, inspector at the Tepic airport.
Picot was accompanied by his wife and three children in a Lake LA4-200 float plane.
When the plane did not arrive at Morelia, officials began a search involving hundreds of people.
Adalberto Garcia de Leon, the state civil defense director, said officials were considering legal or administrative action against Picot.
Aircraft broker Jim Campbell, of Northern Aircraft in Colchester, Vt., said Picot is a Paris-based businessman and experienced private pilot who has flown with his family throughout North and South America. Picot had given Campbell’s telephone as a contact number on forms at the Tepic airport.