Debris from a plane carrying an Indiana teenager and his father on a round-the-world flight has been found in a remote section of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of American Samoa's main island, the Coast Guard said Thursday, two days after the body of 17-year-old pilot Haris Suleman was recovered. Haris' 58-year-old father, Babar Suleman, remained missing Thursday night.
Gene Maestas, a spokesman for the Coast Guard, told the Samoa News newspaper of Pago Pago that search crews hadn't found "a whole plane," just "a wheel, part of the fuselage and personal items, such as a duffel bag and other items." Maestas confirmed the discovery in a separate interview with The Associated Press.
Haris, who just earned his pilot's license in June, was aiming to become the youngest pilot in command to circumnavigate the globe in 30 days with just one other person on board, as a way to raise money to build schools in his father's native Pakistan. Annie Hayat, who is serving as a spokeswoman for the family, told reporters Thursday that relatives were still holding out hope that Babar Suleman might have survived. "Babar is a fighter, and I know that he is somewhere there [praying] for hope, hoping that someone will come for rescue," she said.
— M. Alex Johnson and Juan Juarez
First published July 24 2014, 7:10 PM