An aircrew from the Clarksburg Composite Squadron has located the wreckage of a twin-engine Piper PA-30 that had been reported missing after it left a Texas airport Nov. 23 for Virginia.
The crew spotted the Piper about 9:40 a.m. five miles north of the Rainelle VOR ground station. The crash site was confirmed about 1:30 p.m. West Virginia State Police are now in charge of the area.
The wing had been alerted about the missing plane early Nov. 29 by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. The pilot, Kwan Kwok of Virginia, had taken off from Dalhart Municipal Airport in northwest Texas without filing a flight plan, but officials believed the Piper’s flight path made southern West Virginia the prime search area.
The last known contact with the pilot came when he left the airport. The flight would have lasted four to five hours. Weather conditions were windy, with low clouds and drizzling rain.
Six aircraft from the West Virginia Wing searched for the missing plane all day Nov. 29, and three planes were involved Nov. 30. In addition, ground teams from the Beckley Composite and Charleston Cadet squadrons worked with searchers from the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, with assistance from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 58,000 members nationwide. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90% of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 72 lives in fiscal year 2009. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counter-drug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the more than 23,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. CAP has been performing missions for America for 68 years.
For more information: GoCivilAirPatrol.com.