Local Information

Navy helicopter search for missing private plane continues Monday night

Monday, July 13, 2015 - 19:50

Barbara LaBoe, WSDOT communications, 360-705-7080 (Olympia), 360-350-2953 (mobile)

Search planes plan to resume their search Tuesday morning


OLYMPIA – Naval helicopter crews continue to search an area near Omak for a private, Montana plane that went missing Saturday. Fixed wing search planes will resume their search Tuesday morning if nothing new has been found.

The plane, with three occupants including the owner/pilot, left Montana about 1 p.m. Saturday bound for Lynden, Washington. The plane did not arrive in Lynden as scheduled Saturday afternoon.

All three occupants are family members: plane owner/pilot Leland Bowman, (62) and his wife Sharon (63), of Marion, Montana, and their step-granddaughter Autumn Veatch (16) of Bellingham, Washington. The Okanogan Sheriff’s Office and Civil Air Patrol confirmed late Monday afternoon that Veatch had survived and called authorities. The search continues for the aircraft and the Bowmans.

Fixed wing plane searches are set to resume Tuesday morning as light and weather allows. Air crews search listening for emergency locator beacon signals as well as conducting visual searches. 

Volunteers from the Civil Air Patrol and Washington Air Search and Rescue as well as the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and Naval Air Base out of Whidbey Island are assisting WSDOT Aviation Emergency Services with the search.

More information will be provided as it becomes available. Any late night developments will be posted on the WSDOT blog about this search.

Get Our Mobile App

  • Our Android and iPhone apps include statewide traffic cameras, travel alerts, mountain pass reports, ferry schedules and alerts, northbound Canadian border wait times and more.