The search operation for a brain cancer patient that was on a medical flight that crashed in central New York entered its fourth day on Tuesday, with rescuers unable to find any sign of the missing passenger.
Frank and Evelyn Amerosa were traveling aboard a twin-engine aircraft when it went down in Ephratah, a small town about 60 miles west of Albany, according to police.
Officials revealed that John Campbell, 70, was piloting the aircraft back from the Boston area, where Frank Amerosa was being treated for brain cancer.
Investigators have recovered the bodies of Campbell and Evelyn Amerosa, but several search teams with aerial support have been unable to locate the 64-year-old. Police declared that Frank Amerosa is presumed dead, Sgt. Brian Van Nostrand of the Fulton County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.
"Very happy, very much love, very optimistic, they did everything for anybody," Heather Theobald, Frank's stepdaughter told AP. "They were just very good people. They were loved by a lot of people."
Campbell was a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight, a nonprofit group that arranges free air transportation for the sick.
"John loved to fly and truly believed in the mission of Angel Flight. He loved volunteering his time and we take some solace in the fact he died doing something he loved while trying to help others," his daughter Kimberly Conti of Rutherford, N.J. said in a statement released to the Associated Press.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators who returned to the crash site Sunday aim to retrieve the bulk of the wreckage from a body of water in the coming days, said agency spokesman Eric Weiss.
Investigators are looking or any electronic device that could "give the investigators some electronic evidence of what happened in the last minutes of flight," Weiss added.