The flight, a Cessna 206 had left Alma early Friday morning en route to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota. Parks said the crash was reported by the distress signal from the plane via satellite and by a witness.
The FAA said that the pilot of the plane reported a loss of power to the air traffic control at the Minneapolis Center. By looking at the flight plan available on flightaware.com it seems that the problems occurred during the first third of the flight, and the pilot did turn around to return to its takeoff location, making a steep decline in altitude near Ludington.
The owner of the plane Carol Freed said her husband Jerry and friend and pilot Earl Davidson were onboard the plane. She said that they often fly people to the Mayo Clinic on a volunteer basis. Mrs. Freed said that everyone on board the plane was from the Alma area and that she could not provide any further information about the crash including search efforts.
The Coast Guard has confirmed that a boater rescued one of the passengers nearly 2 hours after the crash, and that the search is underway for the rest of the flight passengers and crew. No other details are available at this time.
This isn’t the first time a medical flight has made a crash landing in Lake Michigan. A donor organ Survival Flight carrying donor lung for a double lung transplant crashed into the lake in June of 2007, all six people on board that flight were killed.