Wednesday’s improved weather is aiding continued search efforts for pilot Brendan Mattingley and his small plane, missing since Saturday on a flight from Soldotna to Palmer, according to Alaska National Guard officials.
Mattingley was last seen between 8 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Saturday, when he took off in his green, red and white Piper PA-18 Super Cub on what is usually a 90-minute flight to Palmer.
Alaska National Guard spokesperson Maj. Guy Hayes says numerous Civil Air Patrol units throughout Southcentral Alaska, as well as an HC-130 Hercules search plane from the Air National Guard’s 211th Rescue Squadron, have been committed to the search. Family and friends are also looking for Mattingley, with Alaska State Troopers supporting the search efforts.
"We have just about every asset out there that we can to help find this gentleman," Hayes said.
Hayes says Wednesday's search remains focused on the Soldotna area, Mattingley's destination at the Wolf Lake airport near Palmer, and the route between them.
Search efforts have been complicated by Mattingley’s plane only carrying a 121.5 MHz emergency locator transmitter, rather than a newer 406 MHz model which broadcasts a signal that can be tracked by satellites. Hayes says Mattingley also didn’t file a flight plan for his trip from Soldotna to Palmer.
“People just get used to getting in their plane and flying, and the weather can change so quickly,” Hayes said.
Hayes says a C-1A Trader cargo plane that crashed near Skwentna, after departing Wasilla for the Nixon Fork Mine near McGrath Monday night, also carried a 121.5 MHz ELT and didn’t have a flight plan. Its pilot and sole occupant, 62-year-old Anchorage man Peter B. Iversen Sr., was found dead at the crash site Tuesday.
Editor's note: The spelling of Brendan Mattingley's last name has been corrected from its initial appearance as "Mattingly."
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