The Herald Bulletin

November 12, 2013

Plane that crashed off Bahamas from Indiana

The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — A small plane that crashed off the Bahamas' northernmost island was registered to a central Indiana partnership and one of the victims was a northwestern Indiana woman, news reports said Monday.

The single-engine Cirrus SR22 was registered to First Class Flyers LLC, based in Cicero, 25 miles north of Indianapolis, The Indianapolis Star reported.

One of the victims was Cynthia Mierzwa of Union Township in Porter County, about 10 miles southeast of Gary, The (Munster) Times reported, citing information from the woman's ex-husband, Fred Mierzwa of Crete, Ill.

The single-engine plane crashed Sunday in waters a few miles off Grand Bahama island and all four people aboard were killed, Police Superintendent Stephen Dean said.

"All are believed to be Americans. It is thought they were on some kind of sightseeing tour," Dean said.

The plane crashed minutes after takeoff from the island's international airport, said Emrick Seymour, assistant police commissioner for Grand Bahama. He said the pilot radioed that the plane was "experiencing some engine problems."

A statement from the Royal Bahamas Police Force said the aircraft was destroyed.

Gary Daymon of Fishers resident, a partner with First Class Flyers, said he could not confirm who was inside the plane when it crashed.

"Everybody's in a state of sorrow here," Daymon told the Star. "We've got a tragedy that we're dealing with."

Joel Kozikowski, a former partner at First Class Flyers, said the group comprises several pilots who share planes and take them out for private use. FAA records indicate the group also owns a second single-engine plane.