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Contact: Adrienne Freeman, 907-469-0545
Contact: Kathleen Kavalok, 907-246-2104
The National Park Service announced today that beginning Saturday, September 4, 2010 it will significantly scale back the search for the missing floatplane carrying employees Mason McLeod, brothers Neal and Seth Spradlin, and pilot Marco Alletto. The floatplane disappeared on August 21, 2010 after taking off from Swikshak Bay in Katmai National Park and Preserve. No sign of the floatplane or missing men has been reported since.
“We have logged almost 60,000 flight miles over the past two weeks. Despite an exhaustive effort on the part of the park, the incident management team, and others, we have found no leads. We are scaling back our efforts in part to reduce risk to those participating in this complex operation,” said Alaska Regional Director Sue Masica.
Katmai National Park and Preserve Superintendent Ralph Moore said today, ”All of us here at Katmai National Park and in the communities of Naknek and King Salmon are devastated by this tragic incident. To lose such fine people hurts deeply. Our hearts go out to the families of Neal, Seth, and Mason and to our friends at Branch River Air.”
The National Park Service is grateful for the invaluable support of volunteer aircraft, agency aircraft, and pilot time that assisted with the search. The multi-agency effort included the National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Alaska Air National Guard, Alaska State Troopers, the Alaska Fire Service, U.S. Coast Guard, the Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Department of the Interior Aviation Management Directorate, Federal Aviation Administration, and National Transportation Safety Board, as well as local air taxi operators and others.
The National Park Service will continue limited searching with regular park patrols and other resources. All pilots flying over the park are encouraged to observe and report any leads as well.