Timeline of Events

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

  • 3:15pm EST (approximate) – A witness at a fixed-based-operator in St. Petersburg, Florida reports that he spoke with Nichter who asked to have the airplane taken out of the hangar
  • 3:17pm – Air traffic control communications indicate that Nichter was cleared for takeoff
  • 3:20pm – Air traffic control communications indicate Nichter was approved for a frequency change. There were no further known communications with the aircraft. Subsequent review of radar data reveals a radar target consistent with Nichter’s departure. This target proceeded westbound over the Gulf of Mexico and climbed to an altitude of 9,900 feet
  • 4:16pm – Target last observed on radar about 150 miles west-southwest of St. Petersburg, FL, traveling at a ground speed of 167 knots

Thursday, December 17, 2009

  • Pilot and aircraft reported as overdue to the FAA on Thursday, December 17, 2009
  • Search and Rescue personnel were dispatched and conducted three sorties covering 1,890 square miles over 13 hours with negative results


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