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Three Missing After Naval Crash In Gulf Of Mexico

March 26, 1996

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) _ Three aviators were missing in the Gulf of Mexico after their Navy turboprop training plane crashed Monday morning.

Naval and Coast Guard planes and helicopters searched for hours, but found no sign of the T-44A plane about 33 miles southeast of Corpus Christi, where an emergency beacon designed to send a signal on impact did so at 9:20 a.m.

Two ships were searching through the night in the area, and the planes and helicopters were to return Tuesday morning.

Conditions were cloudy and windy but not threatening when the plane went down, and flight controllers had received no reports of problems, said Capt. Joseph Grosel, commodore of Training Air Wing Four at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi.

The instructor had at least four years’ experience and the students had about 90 hours of flight time each, said Cmdr. Jim Denmark, chief staff officer for Training Air Wing Four.

Base officials didn’t release the names of the instructor and two students. There were no ejection seats or parachutes aboard.

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