Coast Guard, partners search for missing pilot near Perry Island, Alaska

Kodiak 60 300ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Coast Guard and Air Force assets are searching for a missing pilot near Perry Island in Prince William Sound Tuesday.

The 11th Air Force Rescue Coordination Center in Anchorage received a Mayday call from the male pilot of a Cessna 180 airplane Tuesday afternoon. The pilot reported he was having engine trouble and stated he may have to set the plane down.

RCC Anchorage contacted the Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center who took the lead on search efforts and dispatched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, a Coast Guard Station Valdez 45-foot response boat-medium crew, and the crews of the Coast Guard Cutter Mustang and Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore to the area of Perry Island. An Air Force 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60 Pavehawk helicopter crew and 211th Rescue Squadron HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Anchorage, Alaska State Troopers and one good Samaritan vessel also joined the search.

“Our crews and assisting agencies are up against some extreme weather with this search, but the Coast Guard and its partners train year-round to locate and assist missing pilots, mariners and other members of their communities,” said Lt. Matthew Mitchell, Sector Anchorage search and rescue mission coordinator. “We also appreciate the assistance of any good Samaritans who can aid in the search or provide any information that might narrow down the search area.”

The weather on scene is reported to consist of blowing snow with 200 yards of visibility. Anyone who may have seen signs of the missing pilot or his plane is encouraged to contact the Coast Guard at 907-428-4100.

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