Missing Pilot’s Body Found

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue BoatThe Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Boats as they looked earlier this week for missing pilot Rex Whitlow. [Photo provided by Southern Humboldt County Technical Rescue]

According to Diana Totten of the Southern Humboldt County Technical Rescue Team,

At approximately 2  p.m. the body of the missing pilot from the May 4 plane crash was located in the Eel River in the water…He has been positively identified. …The body has been recovered and the family has been notified and full press release will be coming out later.

The body was located not far from the crash site.

Tracy and Rex Whitlow from a 2011 photo in the North Coast Journal.

Tracy and Rex Whitlow from a 2011 photo in the North Coast Journal. [Used with permission of the NCJ]

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  • Guess they missed him a few times. Yikes.

    • A body usually sinks immediately. Later, it rises. It depends on the warmth of the water and other factors on how long the body stays submerged.

      • Just wanted to add that he was found by local volunteers who have been searching since the accident. Thank you

      • U reported on a fire I had at my property last summer and you were completely wrong. Please mind your own business or report truth. Who is this lady kun Kemp. Don’t think she’s a local just spouting b.s.

  • I went to school with Rex, he was a great guy and well liked by everyone. So sorry for your loss.

  • So sorry to see this. I haven’t seen my cousin Rex in many years. I remember him and his brothers as little tykes next door to us in Salmon Creek. I was so sorry to see the pilot was him. My condolences to the Whitlow family.

  • R.I P. uncle Rex.

  • RIP Rex. Go west, sir.

  • Just My Opinion

    Prayers for the family

  • So saddened by the news!
    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family!

  • Bob and Patti Harris

    So sorry to see this news. Condolences to the family. Rest in Pease Rex.

  • Does anyone know what caused the plane to crash?

    • Gypsy Rose – That’s an interesting question. Were it not an Experimental Aircraft I wonder if the NTSB even investigates this type of accident. Had it been a certified fixed wing aircraft they would be looking at the cause usually. Maybe it is obvious from the condition of the ultralight. Or an autopsy could show some thing if they go that route.
      So lucky for the family they found him fairly quickly.

      • I asked Google and the NTSB does not generally investigate ultralight accidents. They do routinely investigate experimental and certified aircraft accidents that involve death or serious injury and property damage. If a person other than the pilot had been injured or if other people had been affected in some manner, they would probably investigate. No license or training is required to fly a true ultralight (less than 254 pounds and slow) but it is recommended. Flying is a great activity but tragedy can happen to the best trained pilot in the most sophisticated aircraft. My sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Mr. Whitlow.

  • God rest him

  • RIP
    May he have passed peacefully and the river carry his spirit onward.

  • I’m So glad he was found. My prayers to the family.

  • Rex. My best friend. I LOVE YOU FOREVER. I will never forget the knowledge you’ve taught me. The harley rides on fruitland. The Turkey tail tea. The hours of phone conversations. The mandolin. The hikes. The wisdom. The friendship. I will never forget you. I think about you everyday. I love you Tracy. Stay strong. You guys ARE my family. I will ALWAYS be there for you. I WILL NEVER FORGET. You WERE and ALWAYS will be my best friend. I LOVE YOU!!!! You will always be in my prayers.

  • So very sad. Condolences to the family. RIP rex

  • patrick cherry

    kym did the UL crash in the water then the search and rescue take it out and park it on the beach???i don’t get how he ended up in the water.rex was a good tough country boy and a river shouldn’t have taken him unless he was unconscious.prayers for the family,i haven’t seen him for yrs but i grew up with him and thought he was a good man.

  • Randal & Laura

    We are so very sorry for your loss , Rex was a amazing man and he will be forever missed. RIP Rex .

  • Love and strength to the family…. Sorry for your loss…

  • Rest In Peace Rex. My prayers and thoughts are with the entire Whitlow family and all those who knew and loved Rex.

  • Rex was a good man and a great friend. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Whitlow family!

  • There is grace in closure..As a family we must remember this…the love we have for each other must last us..for our eternity. Ask ourselves…is the love we live enough to last the ones we leave behind.Rex leaves behind a legacy of love .His memory lives in many.

  • so glad he was fially found we ll miss you rex rip tracy if you need anything we re right here

  • Condolences to his wife, family and friends. I’ve only seen him around town but he was a smiley, nice guy!

  • My heart felt Condolences to the Whitlow family may God bless you all🕊

  • Rest in peace Rex. My condolences to his loved ones.

  • Michelle Steele

    I am so sorry for the witlow family’s loss, Prayers to you all. I have been following this from the very beginning and was praying they found him in good shape and alive. This is just devastating news. R.I.P. Rex may you fly with the Angel’s you sounded like you were a very good man. I have a husband that is just like you.. are you sure your not twins Lol. Sorry everyone for the small humor remark..

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