A small plane heading for Ohio State University vanished after taking off from an airport on the shores of Lake Erie late Thursday.
The Cessna Citation 525 departed at 10:57 p.m. Thursday from Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland. Air traffic control officials lost contact with it a short time later.
A spokesman for the airport told NBC News that the missing aircraft was carrying three adults and three children. Its occupants were heading back from a Cleveland Cavaliers game at the Quicken Loans Arena, according to the official.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the aircraft was headed to Ohio State University.
The U.S Coast Guard confirmed it was searching for the plane early Friday, and was focusing on an area about two miles offshore in Lake Erie. However, authorities said that weather conditions — including waves of up to 14 feet and occasional snow flurries — were hampering the hunt.
According to the coast guard, the aircraft was capable of carrying up to 11 people.