UPDATE: While Coast Guard search efforts are concluded, Benzie County Sheriff's Department investigations continue. Searches on land and the shoreline are still underway. The two persons who were on board the plane have been identified in a written release. Emanuel Z. Manos, age 53, of Monroe, MI, and Randal S. Dippold, age 65, of Perry, MI, were in the plane, it is unclear who was piloting during the incident. The Benzie County Sheriff's department is asking for anyone in the Frankfort area who sees debris or signs of the aircraft to contact them immediately.
UPDATE: After searching throughout the morning using resources from across Michigan and Canada, searchers were unable to find the plane or any debris. Tim Wendt, a Coast Guard Command Duty Officer at Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, said “The coast guard as of 11:21 central time, 12:21 eastern time this afternoon, the coast guard has suspended our search, pending any further developments.”
At 7:50pm Sunday the Benzie County Sheriff's Department received a call from the Minneapolis Air Traffic Control, saying that a plane was going down off the coast of Frankfort Michigan.
Sheriff Ted Schendel said “the plane was designating an emergency, and that the engine was locked up and dead, they (the air traffic control) tried to redirect the plane to the Frankfort Airport, which was the closest airport they were in. They say after it went below a thousand feet that they lost contact with it.”
Schendel says the coast guard was notified and began searching for the plane with 2 rescue boats and a helicopter. The search went through the night and has continued this morning. He says so far nothing has been found yet.
According to Schendel, he believed that there were two passengers on board, the department had identities but was not releasing them to the public yet. The plane itself belonged to a company called Evergreen Explorations LLC.
Schendel is asking for public help on finding the plane, which was flying from Ontonagon to Monroe, Michigan. The plane itself was a red and white Bonanza single engine plane, the tail number was N1561Z. You can contact the Benzie County Sheriff department at 231-882-4487.