Coast Guard suspends search for Indiana father after plane crash

In a photo provided by Citizens Foundation, Haris Suleman, center right, in blue shirt, and his father, Babar Suleman, center left, stand with the plane in early July 2014 in Pakistan that they were flying on an around-the-world trip.  (AP Photo/Citizens Foundation)
In a photo provided by Citizens Foundation, Haris Suleman, center right, in blue shirt, and his father, Babar Suleman, center left, stand with the plane in early July 2014 in Pakistan that they were flying on an around-the-world trip. (AP Photo/Citizens Foundation)

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (WISH) – The Coast Guard has suspended the search for an Indiana man who went missing after he and his teenage son crashed their single-engine plane near Pago Pago Tuesday night.

Haris Suleman, 17, and his father, Babar Suleman, 58, were on an “Around The World” trip, attempting to break a Guinness World Record. Suleman was trying to become the youngest pilot to make the trip in 30 days.

The pair were on their last leg of the trip when the plane crashed after taking off from Pago Pago in American Samoa.

According to a press release from the Coast Guard, crews have been searched more than 4,000 square nautical miles for a total of 70 hours for Babar Suleman since the plane crash on Tuesday.

“The decision to suspend a search and rescue case is one of the most difficult decisions I have to make,” said Rear Admiral Cari Thomas, Commander, Fourteenth Coast Guard District. “I want to extend my sincere condolences to the family and friends of the Sulemans. After conducting an exhaustive search with our partner agencies in American Samoa and crisscrossing more than 4,000 miles from the air and surface of the ocean and finding no sign of Mr. Suleman, I have made the decision to suspend the active search.”

The American Samoa Marine Patrol recovered Haris’ body the night of the crash. He was entering his senior year at Plainfield High School. Haris and his dad were on a mission to better the lives of children in Pakistan.

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