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Michael Klein, 37, His Daughter Talia and Friend Francesca Lewis Among Four People on a Small Plane that went Missing in Panama (UPDATE: 3 Dead, 1 Survivor)

A California hedge fund manager, Michael Klein, his daughter, 13 year old Talia Michael_Klien_DaughterKlein and her 12 year old friend, Francesca Lewis  were among four people aboard the Cessna 172 plane that went missing in Panama. The plane disappeared after taking off Sunday from Islas Secas off Panama’s Pacific coast, heading for the Chiriqui volcano, about 285 miles west of the capital.

Bad weather including rain and fog has hampered search efforts for the missing.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California hedge fund manager, his daughter and her friend were among four people on a small plane that went missing in Panama, the man’s ex-wife said Tuesday.

Kim Klein told The Associated Press that bad weather and other obstacles were preventing rescue crews from looking for the plane, which may have crashed in the western province of Chiriqui.

Klein told The Associated Press during a phone interview from Boquete, Panama, that her former husband, Michael, was aboard the Cessna 172, along with their daughter, Talia, her friend Francesca Lewis of Santa Barbara and a Panamanian pilot, Edwin Lasso.

Michael Klein, 37, is the chief executive officer of Pacificore LLC, a Santa Barbara-based company that manages several hedge funds. He was on vacation with his 13-year-old daughter and her 12-year-old friend at Islas Secas, an eco-resort that he owns, Kim Klein said.

 Search continues for plane, 3 missing Americans

PANAMA CITY (AP) — Rescue workers and volunteers combed a mountainous area of western Panama Tuesday in search of three Americans and a Panamanian pilot whose small plane went missing over the weekend.

But dense tropical foliage, mountainous terrain and heavy rains were making air and land searches in the Chiriqui province extremely difficult, said Roberto Rolando Rodriguez, a spokesman for the agency that overseas the nation’s air security.

Reward Offered For Panama Lost Plane,US Passengers

A California family is offering a $25,000 reward to anyone who can find a small plane believed to have crashed in a Panamanian jungle with three Americans aboard, including two children.

Rescuers searched for survivors for the third straight day on Tuesday after the Cessna airplane disappeared in foul weather on Sunday.

UPDATE I: 3 Dead and 1 Survivor

There is sad nes to report in the case of the missing Cessna and 4 abaord in Panama. Reprts are that 3 have been found dead and one has been found alive.

The bodies of two Americans and the Panamanian pilot of a plane that crashed over the weekend were found Tuesday in Panama’s mountains, officials said. A teenage girl survived.

California businessman Michael Klein, 37, pilot Edwin Lasso and one of two American girls traveling with Klein were found dead, said Roberto Rolando Rodriguez, a spokesman for Panama’s air security agency.

A second girl survived the crash, Rodriguez said, but it was not immediately clear whether the survivor was Klein’s 13-year-old daughter Talia or her 12-year-old friend Francesca Lewis.

UPDATE II: The survivor is Francesca Lewis of Santa Barbara.

PANAMA CITY, Panama (AP) – Authorities in Panama now confirm a California businessman and his 13-year-old daughter died in a plane crash there.

The pilot also died but a 12-year-old girl survived.

The bodies were found in the mountains today. The survivor is Francesca Lewis of Santa Barbara.

She was taken to a local hospital for treatment of hypothermia and multiple traumas.

The plane was carrying the girl along with Michael Klein, a hedge fund manager from Santa Barbara, and his daughter, Talia.

UPDATE III: 12-year-old Francesca Lewis Sole Survivor of Cessna Plane Crash

An American girl who is the sole survivor of a plane crash in Panama has arrived at a hospital for treatment.

Authorities said 12-year-old Francesca Lewis is in stable condition, three days after the plane crash that killed the other three people aboard.

Rescuers had to trek five hours through the mountains to bring the child to safety. The helicopter carrying Francesca arrived at a public hospital Wednesday. At her parents’ request, an ambulance then took her to a private facility in the same city, about 30 miles from the crash site.

Francesca’s mother said the girl can walk, but has apparently suffered a broken arm and hypothermia.

December 25th, 2007 at 02:45pm Posted by | Found Alive, Found Deceased, Missing, Missing Adult, Missing Children, Missing Teen, Pictures, Plane Crash | 3 comments

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  1. Praying that Francesca gets home soon to her family.

    Comment by jill | December 25, 2007

  2. [...] plane carrier Michael Klein, 37, Talia Klein, 13, Francesca Lewis, 12, and pilot Edwin Lasso, 23, had first gone missing over the weekend in Panama. Then the tragic news came upon the search and recovery as 3 people were found dead and 1 [...]

    Pingback by Tragic Plane Crash in Panama Leaves 3 Dead; Michael Klein, 37, Talia Klein, 13, and pilot Edwin Lasso, 23. One Surviver | Scared Monkeys | December 26, 2007

  3. I live very close to the site of this accident. The day of the crash was overcast and rainy with wind; in short miserable. Air currents and gusts can be treacherous in the mountains here, particularly with low visibility, low cloud cover and in a small light plane like the Cessna 172 presumably close to load limit. It is very tragic and no small airplane should have been out sightseeing in that weather. It is unfortunate that someone didn’t make the decision to abandon the trip and return to Seco Island.

    Comment by John Taylor | December 28, 2007

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