Search crews return to Lake Pontchartrain to look for missing plane

Search crews return to Lake Pontchartrain to look for missing plane

Search crews returned to Lake Pontchartrain Saturday looking for the plane that crashed Wednesday night and the two people aboard.

Since first learning about the crash, Tahseen Rab has spent every day at Lakefront Airport, waiting for word.

Speaking of his brother, Aftab, Tahseen says, "I hope he is still out there somewhere alive and I hope he makes it back."

Aftab Rab was flying with his instructor, Burt Lattimore, Wednesday, when the plane, a Cessna 172, suddenly disappeared from radar.

"The most probable theory is that their carburetor got iced and they didn't realize...they lost the altitude very quick," Rab said.

Several different agencies are assisting in the search effort. NOPD divers are working with divers from the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office and there are several private boating companies that are scouring the lake looking for any sign of the plane.

Search crews believe the aircraft went down about a mile from Lakefront Airport but rough conditions Thursday and Friday made the search very difficult. Although crews covered 15 square miles Saturday, bad weather Sunday and Monday is expected to halt the search once more until Tuesday at the earliest.

"I'm dreading the thought of that right now because I hope they can find something," Rab said.

Tahseen Rab says his brother, who lived in Hammond with his wife and four kids, was taking lessons to become a certified flight instructor. He'd actually been flying for years in his native Pakistan. Lattimore was helping Rab earn his qualifications.

A friend of Lattimore, Addie Fanguy, says, "He is a very nice guy, very well liked around the airport, everyone who got to know Burt liked him as a person first."

Tahseen Rab says Aftab often spoke highly of Lattimore, as the two had become close while flying. He's praying for both his family and Lattimore's, that they get some type of closure.

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