Search for Missing Local Pilot to Continue Saturday

Plane and searchers

The missing pilot’s ultralight sits on the shore while a boat of searchers motors through the Eel River. [Image provided by Southern Humboldt County Technical Rescue]

Although teams of volunteers and rescue workers continue to search, a local pilot missing since his ultralight plane crashed yesterday morning still hasn’t been located.

Yesterday, the damaged ultralight was located in some bushes near the edge of the main stem of the Eel River not far from McCann. The seatbelt was unlatched so searchers believe that it is likely the pilot attempted to bail from the ultralight after something went wrong.

Many people have been assisting in the search for the pilot including family and friends. According to Lonny Whitlow who wrote to us earlier, “There are 5 boats on the water…There are 4 volunteer divers…14 volunteers searching and 4 tech rescue and 2 sheriffs.”

Totten said the search will resume tomorrow. The weather then is predicted to be mostly sunny but also breezy.


The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Southern Humboldt County Technical Rescue, and locals conducting personnel briefing on search tactics and safety at the edge of the swollen Eel River. [Image provided by Southern Humboldt County Technical Rescue]

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  • Tired of the crime

    Can you please include location to meet for volunteers and at what hours thank you

  • We are all meeting at the river bar to the north of the bridge on the east side of the river tomorrow morning at 9. We need water smart people in wet suits and rope for pulling recovery tools. . There are several boats in the water and lots of people on stand by. Bring extra clothes and water.

  • Lonny whitlow

    The search is now limited as there are high winds which make maneuvering boats difficult

  • clearlake fool

    have not seen this question yet but has search crews thought about the possibility that he fell off the craft miles from where it crashed .
    im sure they smarter than i am , but it has happened before

  • I agree with Clear lake fool, it seems there should be foot searchers and search dogs in all surrounding areas, Mabey a spotter plane too, I guess the assumption is that he would if bailed over water and not land. But you never know. I can’t imagine what the family is going through. Prayers 🙏🏻

  • I feel so sorry for the Whitlow family .the not knowing is the worst . I so hope they find him soon.

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