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Three Missing After Naval Crash In Gulf Of Mexico

March 26, 1996

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) _ A daylong search turned up no sign of three aviators whose Navy turboprop training plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Naval and Coast Guard planes and helicopters were to resume their search today for the T-44A plane that went down Monday morning about 30 miles southeast of Corpus Christi. An emergency beacon designed to send a signal on impact pinpointed the location.

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.

A person typically can survive around six hours in water as cold as 60 degrees, the approximate temperature of the Gulf in that area, base officials said.