Friday, December 30, 2016

Crews search for missing plane in north Hood Canal

Missing plane update

11:30 a.m., Dec. 30, 2016

Searchers have located a small fixed wing aircraft that disappeared from air traffic controller contact last night on the Debub Peninsula of Jefferson County.

Using radar forensics data and the plane's emergency locator transmitter, search crews were able to find the aircraft in a heavily wooded ravine this morning.

Four occupants have been located in the wreckage but there were no survivors. The names will not be released until they have been positively identified and their families have been notified. Release of names will come from law enforcement and coroner's office officials. Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is now the lead agency and can be reached at 360-344-9747. As of midmorning, search crews are still working through the difficult scene to recover the victims.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board investigators will arrive on scene Saturday morning to examine the aircraft.

Participants in the mission are from Jefferson County Search & Rescue, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, WSDOT, Civil Air Patrol, US Navy, Washington Emergency Management Division, Quilcene Fire District 2, Port Ludlow Fire District 3.

The plane, a single-engine Cessna, departed Seattle's Boeing Field just after 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 29, bound for Port Angeles. Air traffic control lost contact with the plane at 6:44 p.m. in the general area of Dabob Bay. Emergency locator signals were used to define the search area.

Previous release:

WSDOT is coordinating a search for a private plane reported missing near the Dabob Bay area of northern Hood Canal Thursday night.

The plane left Seattle's Boeing Field headed for Port Angeles just after 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, and lost contact with air traffic control about 6:44 p.m. near the Dabob Bay area, east of Quilcene. The Federal Aviation Administration then contacted WSDOT, which is charged with all aerial search and rescue within the state.

A ground search is underway by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and a U.S. Navy helicopter also joined the search Thursday night before poor visibility called off the air search. A fixed-wing Civil Air Patrol plane will join the search at daybreak. The WSDOT Air Support Team also is working to track the airplane's emergency locator signal.

Further details about the plane, the pilot or any occupants are not being released at this time. Updates on the search will be posted here as they become available.