Monday, April 24, 2017

Squadron 188 (and many other) members join multi-agency search for missing aircraft

A number of our squadron’s members supported the Sierraville missing aircraft mission, flying as aircrew, serving as base staff, and highlighting our squadron’s commitment to operational readiness.

Thank you to the following members that participated:

  • Maj Steven DeFord - IC/OSC
  • Maj Chris Johnson - LSC
  • Maj Noel Luneau - PSC
  • Maj Kathy Johnson - PIO
  • Maj Phil Blank - MP
  • Maj Jeff Ironfield - MP
  • Capt Don Eichelberger - IPU
  • Capt Kathy Brown - AP/AOBD
  • Capt John Stevulak – MO/MS
  • 1st Lt Karin Hollerbach – AP/MO
  • 2d Lt Alexei Roudnev - AP
  • 2d Lt Scott Booth - MO

Special thanks to Capt Eichelberger and Maj DeFord for serving on the mission for multiple operational periods. Also thanks to those new members that offered to participate but were not utilized.

Click here for a news report announcing the suspension of the search.

A CAWG news release regarding the event follows:

Lt Col Crystal Housman, CAP
Public Affairs Officer, California Wing

April 24, 2017
Search for missing aircraft suspended
Sacramento, Calif. – Civil Air Patrol concluded its operations Monday morning in the search for a missing aircraft with two persons on board in the Sierra Nevada mountain range after the search was suspended by the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office at 9 p.m. Sunday night. The aircraft has not been found.

The Socata TB-20 Trinidad took off April 17 from the Truckee-Tahoe Airport in Truckee and never arrived at its intended destination of Petaluma Municipal Airport. Civil Air Patrol was activated for the search shortly after midnight Tuesday by the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.

Aerial assets from the California Highway Patrol and California National Guard also participated in the multi-agency search, as did CAP ground teams and those from multiple agencies. The search was conducted in a unified command in support of the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office.

Throughout the six-day search, CAP aircrews from California and Nevada conducted visual and photographic searches while logging more than 60 flight hours over the rugged, heavily-wooded and snow-covered search area located 18 miles northwest of Truckee.

CAP volunteers on the ground reviewed more than 8,000 high resolution digital images of the search area, which were captured by wing-mounted cameras on the CAP search planes.

“We are extremely disappointed in the outcome of this search,” said CAP Incident Commander Maj. Shane Terpstra. “We always hope for a fast resolution with missing aircraft searches, but rapidly changing weather compounded with fresh snow worked against us this entire search. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”

More than 117 CAP volunteers, 15 CAP aircraft and 12 CAP vehicles participated in the search.

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