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Detroit Salt Co. leader among 2 feared lost in plane disappearance

This plane took off from Ontonagon and went missing with two people aboard Sunday before 8 p.m. Crews suspended their Lake Michigan search west of Frankfort Monday afternoon and continued scanning an area near Lake Ann.

Authorities continue to search for the president of Detroit Salt Co. and the owner of an air service operation in Howell who were on a small plane that disappeared last weekend over Lake Michigan during an emergency landing.

The Benzie County Sheriff’s Office said the search for Emanuel Manos, 53, of Monroe, and Randal Dippold, 65, of Perry, has turned into a recovery mission.

Manos and Dippold are presumed dead after their single-engine aircraft vanished Sunday during a flight from Ontonagon, in the Upper Peninsula, to Monroe.

Officials said their white and red Beech Craft Bonanza 35 dropped off radar at 7:50 p.m. Sunday over Lake Michigan, about 4.5 miles west of Frankfort.

The sheriff’s office said the plane was reportedly having engine trouble and controllers with the Minneapolis Control Center directed it to the Frankfort Dow Memorial Airport when it vanished.

The plane disappeared from radar once it descended below 1,000 feet, Michigan State Police said.

Crews with Michigan State Police, Homeland Security and other agencies searched Monday by helicopter, plane and boat but didn’t find anything.

The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday called off its search of Lake Michigan but other efforts to find the plane continued.

Manos is president of the Detroit Salt Co., a supplier of bulk road salt in the Midwest. He joined the company in 1997 and became president in 2010, according to the Michigan Manufacturers Association.

Manos was honored by the association in 2016 with its Manufacturer of the Year award for his strong presence throughout Detroit.

"His sponsoring of neighborhood clean-ups of illegal dumping sites has challenged other business leaders to follow his example," according to the association. "Since joining the Advisory Committee for Illegal Dumping in southwest Detroit, more than 400 sites have been improved to create a brighter, healthier and safer community."

Dippold is the owner of Airservice Enterprise Inc., a flight training service based in Howell.

A Detroit Salt Co. confirmed that Manos was aboard the missing plane.

"We're focusing on hoping for the best," said George Davis, public affairs manager of the Detroit Salt Co.

Airservice Enterprise did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

State police were still looking for possible wreckage from the plane off the coast of Frankfort.

The plane’s tail number is N1561Z, and the aircraft is registered to Evergreen Exploration Co. 

The Benzie County Sheriff’s officials are asking residents on Lake Michigan or its shore who may encounter something that could be aircraft wreckage to call them at (231) 882-4487.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Mr. Manos and Mr. Dippold during this challenging time," the sheriff's office said in a statement.
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