Search underway off southern Outer Banks after plane crash reported near Drum Inlet

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk. [USCG photo]

Multiple agencies responded to a report of a downed aircraft off Cape Lookout National Seashore on Sunday afternoon.

The U.S. Coast Guard was alerted by air traffic control at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point that an airplane was seen on radar behaving erratically before disappearing from their screens.

The plane is believed to have gone down approximately four miles east of Drum Inlet around 2 p.m.

News Channel 12 reported Carteret County officials believe four teens and three adults including the pilot were aboard a single engine Pilatus PC-12/47 at the time of the crash.

A Coast Guard Station Fort Macon Motor Lifeboat crew was launched along with a Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet Response Boat-Small boat crew. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Air Station Elizabeth City was also launched to search the area.

The Coast Guard Cutter Rollin Fritch, local fire department personnel and National Park Service rangers were also assisting with response efforts.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration released a statement saying, “The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide additional updates.”