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NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow locates missing aircraft

2015
Sep 10
Graphic depicting a NOAA ship mapping the sea floor

This graphic illustrates a NOAA ship using a multibeam echosounder to map the sea floor.

NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow led the search for a single-engine private aircraft that went down with its pilot off Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 10. ”We had the lead on the search for the plane, while the Coast Guard focused on debris recovery,” said Cmdr. G. Mark Miller, the ship's commanding officer. “The ship and science crew stood watches all night to find debris and the telltale oil slick.” After spotting an oily sheen, the crew located the aircraft on the seafloor using the ship’s multibeam system. "Officers, survey and science members all manned the multibeam screens to spot what turned out to be a very small target," said Miller. "Situations like this remind us of our capabilities and importance to the nation, and to one family that just lost one of their own."

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