OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Transportation is coordinating a search for a missing private airplane near the northern Hood Canal area of Dabob Bay.
The plane left Seattle’s Boeing Field headed for Port Angeles just after 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, and lost contact with air traffic control about 6:44 p.m. near the Dabob Bay area, east of Quilcene. The Federal Aviation Administration then contacted WSDOT.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office started a ground search and a U.S. Navy helicopter crew searched from the air Thursday night until visibility became too low to safely continue. The ground search continues and a fixed air Civil Air Patrol plane will launch at daybreak. The WSDOT Air Support Team also has been dispatched to track the airplane’s emergency locator signal.
At this time details about the plane and pilot, and any occupants onboard, are not being released. Updates on the search will be posted on the WSDOT blog.
WSDOT, by statue (RCW 47.68.380) is charged with the coordination and management of aerial search and rescue within the state. The agency works in conjunction with volunteer search and rescue groups, law enforcement and other agencies, such as the U.S. Navy, in carrying out such searches.