A young Nashville resident is among those searching for a missing Malaysian Airlines plane that disappeared earlier this month.
26-year-old Lt. Erica Ross is on the biggest humanitarian mission of her life.
“She's been flying missions every other day searching for it in the Indian Ocean, primarily. They actually carry three pilots and she's in what's called the first chair, so she is the senior pilot and the commander in flight,” her father Rick Glanz told Nashville's News 2.
Ross, who is a Franklin Road Academy graduate, is leading a team of 15 crew members in the search.
“She's what's called a patrol plane commander for a p3 Orian plane. They are designed to find submarines, so they fly long low missions over the ocean,” Glanz explained.
While Ross is busy putting her skills to use, she speaks with her father a few times a week about their progress.
“She saw some things floating in the water and some oil slicks, but I don't think she knows if it's part of anything.”
Glanz said Ross wanted to be a Navy pilot early in life. She received her pilot license while in high school and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2009.
Ross has been deployed twice, once in the Middle East and now in Japan. It is a job that can get scary for a parent, but Glanz has confidence his daughter is well trained.
“She flies long missions over the ocean, she's had things catch on fire in the plane and radar go out and all those kinds of things. But you know, the military trains people very well, and fortunately, the plane she flies has never crashed. So it's a pretty safe airplane, I think.”
The proud father hopes the crews can help solve one of the biggest mysteries.
“You know, God forbid it was one of our loved ones. We would want somebody doing that to, you know, know what happened and find out.”
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared March 8 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The plane was carrying 239 passengers and crew.