Local Information

Search continues for small, private plane overdue in Lynden

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 - 10:04

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

Get the latest developments on this story on our blog

Searchers will use helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft looking for plane near Omak, Washington

OLYMPIA – A helicopter crew and volunteer fixed-wing planes will continue the search for a missing plane near Omak, Washington this morning in rugged, mountainous terrain.

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.

One of the three occupants, Autumn Veatch, 16, of Bellingham, Washington, walked out of the woods Monday, July 13, and called authorities saying the plane had crashed. The search for the other two occupants – her step-grandparents Leland (62) and Sharon (63) Bowman – and their plane continues.

Helicopters can be used to hover above search areas to allow for visual search of the ground and some crews also can rappel down to a potential crash site.

A MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island helped with the search Monday night. Today, a helicopter crew from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office is assisting the search and others may be called in as needed.

Crews in both the helicopter and fixed-wing planes will focus on the area near the Easy Pass trail near Mazama in the Methow Valley, based on the route Veatch said she took from the plane.

Volunteers from the Civil Air Patrol and the American Red Cross as well as personnel from the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, NAS Whidbey Island and Snohomish County Sherriff’s Office are assisting WSDOT Aviation Emergency Services with the search. An incident command has been set up in Bellingham, near the airport.

More information will be provided as it becomes available. New developments also will be posted on the WSDOT blog about this search.

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