The Coast Guard has suspended it’s search for three missing people after a mid-air collision involving two small planes off the coast of Southern California Saturday. The search started Friday at 3:30 p.m. and ended Saturday at 9:15 a.m. No survivors have been found within those hours the Coast Guard said. Searchers were going to turn their attention to a recovery operation, hunting for bodies and wreckage with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department leading the effort with divers and sonar. Read the rest of this story after the jump.

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A collision involving two small planes near the Port of Los Angeles happened around 3:30 p.m. Friday afternoon. There has been no information given to the public as to what may have caused this accident.

Men ages 61 and 81 were believed to be aboard one plane, a Beechcraft. Coast Guard Capt. Jennifer Williams said wreckage and a pilot’s logbook have been found from that plane. The other plane was being flown by a 72-year-old woman. Air traffic controllers saw two aircraft apparently run into each other on radar, leading authorities to believe they may have collided.

Jennifer Williams has made statements saying

“We don’t want to give up until we really feel that there’s no chance.”

Richard Garnett, chief flight instructor with the Long Beach Flying Club, said the pilots practice in an area that is 10 to 20 square miles and at altitudes ranging from 1,000 to 4,000 feet. He said during a typical day there usually are about three to four planes in the air at the same time. He also said

“So with the amount of activity, actually, I think we’ve been fortunate. We are really diligent. I don’t know why, what happened in this situation.”

Yesterday’s collision has not been the first in that area. Back in 2001 four people died when two airplanes carrying instructors and students collided 1,000 feet above the harbor. In 1986, two small planes flown by students collided. But the aircraft managed to return to their airports, and the four people on board escaped injury.

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Source: Fox News