I TEAM: pilot in plane crash had just been certified for that plane

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CLEVELAND - The FOX 8 I TEAM has uncovered new information about the pilot of a plane that disappeared over Lake Erie and the plane’s final moments.

The I TEAM has found the plane crashed just weeks after the pilot had received approval to fly that kind of plane. A new posting by the Federal Aviation Administration shows on December 8, 2016, pilot John Fleming received certification or approval to fly the Cessna 525.

Fleming’s Cessna 525 disappeared just after takeoff from Burke-Lakefront Airport on December 29 with 6 people on board. The pilot already had certification to fly other types of aircraft including a smaller Cessna Mustang.

A review of some air traffic radio tapes reveal an air traffic controller repeatedly tried to make contact with the missing plane. A controller said, "Citation 614 SB Cleveland approach..." And,
"Citation 614 SB Cleveland approach. How do you hear me?...”

A flight tracking website shows, in recent months, the plane that crashed had been flown dozens of times. Investigators are just beginning to try to figure out what went wrong. They are looking at everything from the cockpit voice recorder to wreckage pulled from the water to much, much more.

Friday, Tim Sorensen with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said, "We've already begun collecting documents such as aircraft records, pilot training records, weather reports, things of this nature."

It may take a year or more for the federal investigators to solve the mystery of what happened. At this point, virtually everything coming to light about the pilot and the plane provides another possible clue.

We’ve reached out repeatedly to the NTSB to find out more about the cockpit voice recorder recovered Friday, and the agency has said nothing about it.

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