Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010
Searchers have flown over 41,000 flight miles to date in the search for a missing floatplane carrying National Park Service employees Mason McLeod, 26, Neal Spradlin, 28, and Seth Spradlin, 20, and pilot Marco Alletto. The plane has been missing since August 21st. Improved weather over the past several days has allowed aircraft to cover some remaining search areas and to search some areas again. No sign of the plane or passengers has yet been reported. Aircraft travelling in the area of the search should be aware of increased air traffic in the area due to search operations. Dedicated and contracted Department of Interior aircraft, along with volunteer aircraft and aircraft from the Alaska Air National Guard, US Coast Guard, Civil Air Patrol, and Alaska State Troopers have participated in the search. The multi-agency effort includes the National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Alaska Air National Guard, Alaska State Troopers, the Alaska Fire Service, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of the Interior Aviation Management Directorate, Federal Aviation Administration, and National Transportation Safety Board, as well as local air taxi operators and others. As in all park operations, the safety of searchers and the public is the top priority. Inclement weather, limited visibility, and rough and varied terrain throughout the 14,000 square mile search area contribute to the complexity of the search. Anyone who was monitoring radio traffic or heard a signal from an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) on 121.5 MHz between August 21 and today around the Katmai/Kodiak area is asked to contact Park Dispatch at 907-246-3305. Additionally, visitors and staff who were in the Katmai/Kenai area during that time period are asked to contact authorities whether or not they saw any evidence of an aircraft. Doing so can help determine where searchers should focus their efforts. For more information, please visit the park website for updated information. A 3-dimensional map of the park is available at this website.