PORTLAND, Ore. - Officials on Sunday were searching for a retired airline pilot from Portland who disappeared after making local practice flights from the Aurora State Airport a day earlier.
The pilot's family reported him missing Saturday after he failed to return to the airport, which is located near Interstate 5 south of Wilsonville. He has not been in contact with anyone via cell phone or radio. Officials declined to release the pilot's name Sunday.
Members of the Oregon Wing of the Civil Air Patrol on Sunday searched within a 30-mile radius of the airport. They also headed to the coast because the pilot has a home at Glendale Beach.
Ground crews were checking local airstrips for any signs of the pilot while three planes were searching from the air for any place the pilot could have put the plane down, said Lt. Col. Thomas Traver, a Civil Air Patrol spokesman.
The pilot bought the new single-engine Piper Cub about two months ago and was getting familiar with the aircraft on Saturday, doing routine takeoffs and landings, when for some reason he did not return, Traver said.
Officials said the plane looked similar to the aircraft in the picture below:
Civil Air Patrol officials were notified at 10 a.m. Sunday and were airborne within an hour looking for the aircraft, Traver said.
"There's not a whole lot to go on," Traver said. "Anything could have happened."
He described the pilot as very experienced.
Officials asked anyone who may have seen or heard such a plane flying low or perhaps sounding like it might be in distress to call the Civil Air Patrol mission base at the Aurora State Airport at (503) 678-1889.