• Plane remains submerged after bodies recovered from Lake Harney crash site

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    SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - The bodies of a pilot and two trainees were recovered Saturday evening from a plane that crashed into Lake Harney Friday, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

     

    The plane remains about 10 feet underwater in Lake Harney and NTSB officials said it might take a long time to remove it.

     

    Photos: Lake Harney plane crash

     

    “(It’s) a fairly complex situation right now due to the underwater visibility,” Joshua Cawthra with the NTSB said during a Sunday news conference.

     

    Search crews found the sunken plane Saturday near the Seminole-Volusia County line, investigators said.

     

    The pilot was identified as Kamalesh Naik, 56, of Sanford.

     

    The two passengers were identified as Men Tao, 22, and Hou Xupeng, 23, both Chinese nationals who were staying in Sanford.

     

    The FAA said the aircraft was on its way to Orlando-Sanford International Airport.

     

    While the cause of the crash remains unknown, Cawthra said that radio communication was lost. Cawthra also said that at this point, the investigation found there were no maydays or distress calls received.

     

    Cawthra said that a preliminary report will be released in five business days.

     

    Divers from several counties are running sonar as they investigate the wreckage.

     

    “We are unsure how it’s (the plane) is going to be extracted. Most likely, we will use airbags,” Cawthra said.

     

    The aircraft will go to a secure facility in Jacksonville, Cawthra said.

     

    He said the NTSB will meet with the Chinese consulate later Sunday.

     

    Watch the news conference below: 

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