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Contact: Kathleen Kavalok, 907-246-2104
King Salmon- Yesterday morning weather was favorable for search aircraft in Katmai National Park and Preserve until late afternoon when weather forced an early return to base. No signs were discovered of the missing aircraft, pilot or passengers. Today’s forecast calls for low ceilings, rain and reduced visibility in the search area, primarily in the western portion due to a low front that has moved into the area.
Aerial search efforts will be influenced by the local weather front. If conditions allow, this morning helicopters will initiate searching, and also assess the areas to the east for favorable flight weather for fixed wing aircraft. Focus will be on the eastern coast due to the expected weather patterns. Other areas in the established search grid will be flown if conditions improve.
The NPS Alaska Incident Management Team, led by Incident Commander Richard Moore, is assisting Katmai National Park by managing the search efforts for the missing aircraft and persons on board. “The Park greatly appreciates all the efforts being put forth by the mutual agencies and the public. As we continue with the search, we encourage all those involved to not forego our own attention to safety and well being”, said Neal Labrie, Chief Ranger, Katmai NP.
The single engine floatplane, a deHavilland Beaver operated by Branch River Air Service in King Salmon with the pilot and three National Park Service maintenance employees has been missing since Saturday afternoon. The missing employees are Mason McLeod, 26, and two brothers, Neal Spradlin, 28; and Seth Spradlin, 20. The pilot is Marco Alletto, 47, from King Salmon.
Dedicated and contracted Department of Interior aircraft, along with volunteer aircraft and aircraft from the Alaska Air National Guard, US Coast Guard, Civil Air Patrol and Alaska State Troopers, have participated in the search. The multi-agency effort includes the National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Alaska Air National Guard, Alaska State Troopers, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of the Interior Aviation Management Directorate, Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, as well as local air taxi operators and others.
There has been a gallant response from the pilot community with offers to assist in search efforts. Due to safety and communication concerns, pilots are asked to contact Katmai National Park, at 907-246-3305 to coordinate any search efforts.
Statistics (not including military resources)
|Today's assigned fixed wing aircraft
||Today's assigned helicopters
||Aircraft ordered, not assigned
||Total assigned personnel
||Approx. total miles flown to date
||Approx. total area involved to date
|7||2||2||42||32,000||13,100 sq. miles
Katmai National Park and Preserve is about 300 miles southwest of Anchorage.
Visit www.nps.gov/katm for more search information.