A NAS Whiting Field pilot is believed to be dead following a weekend plane crash into Lake Ponchartrain near New Orleans.
Lt. Clinton Wermers and a student pilot, whose name had not yet been released, were flying a routine nighttime instrument training mission and were approaching Lakefront Airport in New Orleans when their plane went down in the lake.
Coast Guard teams rescued the student pilot from the water near 9 p.m. Saturday with mild hypothermia and moderate injuries. Wermers, the instructor pilot, has not been located and Coast Guard rescue efforts have transitioned to a recovery operation.
The rescued pilot was taken to West Jefferson Medical Center for treatment of mild hypothermia. He has since been released.
According to reports, the plane had been flying at low altitudes and therefore didn’t break apart when it hit the water.
The two pilots were attached to Training Squadron SIX at Naval Air Station Whiting Field.
The cause of the accident is still unknown and an investigation is being conducted by Training Air Wing FIVE and Nave Safety Center.