Air Traffic Controllers are searching for a Cessna Citation, registration number N832R, which was feared to be lost in the Atlantic Ocean northeast of the Bahamas Friday night (0000 UT 25 May 2019)
The flight, between St. Louis, Missouri and the plane’s likely home base of Fort Lauderdale, FL, went off course, veering over the Gulf of Mexico, then suddenly vectoring left across Southern Florida.
Position data from the plane was lost after the flight drifted past ground stations.
Experts suggest the plane may have lost cabin pressure during its climb, not quite reaching its planned cruising altitude of 12.5 km. While pilots are trained to reduce their flight level during oxygen failures, the effects of hypoxia may not always be noticed in time to achieve recovery.
Pressurization failures are a hazard for high flying jet aircraft, especially those like the Cessna Citation, which are regularly commissioned for business travel and may not necessarily have a dedicated ground crew, especially away from home.