Update on Search for Possible Downed Plane in Grand Canyon National Park

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Date: March 23, 2011
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958

Grand Canyon, Ariz. – The National Park Service (NPS) continues to work with the Coconino County Sheriff's Office to refine its search for a plane which may have gone down in Grand Canyon National Park on Friday, March 11.

Coconino County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) investigators notified the NPS on Monday, March 14 that 47-year old Joseph Radford and his plane were missing and were last seen at the Grand Canyon Airport, located just south of Grand Canyon National Park.  

The National Park Service and Coconino County Sheriff's Office are looking for Joseph Radford and his plane. DMV photo.

Since then, NPS search and rescue (SAR) personnel have been leading search efforts for Radford and his plane.

During the course of the search, the NPS has flown every segment of a search area covering approximately 600 square miles without acquiring an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal or discovering any visual signs of a crash. At the same time, investigations into Mr. Radford's disappearance and technical interpretation of ELT (detected by a general aviation pilot on Sunday, March 13) and radar data have been ongoing.

This week, in order to refine the search area and more effectively direct active search efforts, the NPS and CCSO have made a decision to focus the efforts of search and rescue personnel on sorting and assessing the growing amount of investigative and technical information. In addition, investigators will continue to locate and interview the remaining hikers and river users who were in the search area during the time of Mr. Radford's flight.

If you believe that you have seen Mr. Radford or his aircraft since Friday, March 11, at 8:30 a.m., please contact the National Park Service at 928-638-7805. (Media should continue to contact the Grand Canyon Public Affairs office at 928-638-7958 or 928-638-7779.)

Joseph Radford is described as a 47-year old white male, with blue eyes, graying brown hair and a receding hairline. He is 5'11" tall and weighs approximately 180 pounds. His plane is described as a cherry red RV-6 Home-built Kit Aircraft with tail number N650RV.

The National Park Service and Coconino County Sheriff's Office are grateful to the Civil Air Patrol and the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center for their invaluable assistance with the ongoing investigations, including radar, cell phone and ELT analysis.

Additional news releases will be distributed only as new information becomes available.



NPS- GRCA- Missing Person Flyer- Radford Search 0322

Click here to download the missing person flyer.

Last updated: December 11, 2017

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