Plane Missing Since 1997 Likely Belonged To Howell Couple
July 13, 2018
A former principal is recalling the day a beloved art teacher went missing more than 20 years ago.
Authorities believe they have located the wreckage of a Howell couple's small plane that disappeared in remote northern Michigan. National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Eric Weiss says national forest personnel found the wreckage Wednesday near St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula. The 45-year-old pilot, Mark Davies, and his wife, Janet were in a single-engine Piper that took off September 14th, 1997 from Drummond Island in Lake Huron. They were heading to Howell and the couple has been missing since the date of the apparent crash and were presumed dead.
Ken Hamman is retired now but was the principal at Scranton Middle School in Brighton when Janet Davies went missing. He worked with her on different levels for many years, saying she was an art teacher, through and through. A scholarship was later named in her memory. Hamman says Janet was a kind and very gracious individual who valued hard work and creativity, adding she was often quiet but had a great sense of humor. Hamman tells WHMI it was a real mystery when she disappeared, and remained so up until the last couple days. He tells WHMI it’s sad but also relieving to find some type of resolution. He says everyone was very concerned as there was no resolution, although memorials were held with family, staff and community members.
The plane wreckage was discovered is in a very remote and wooded area, which has reportedly made it difficult for investigators to inspect the site. The NTSB says the couple’s plane departed from Drummond Island heading south into foggy weather before disappearing from radar. Coast Guard and Civil Air Patrol personnel searched for the plane for days before eventually abandoning the search, after failing to find the remains of the couple or the plane. A flight plan wasn't filed. The NTSB says the plane was seen on radar flying south, then turning and flying north. Then it disappeared. Davies photo: WDIV Detroit. Scene Photo: UpNorthLive.com. (JM)