Crews Continue Working Through the Night to Reach Fallen Pilot

LANGLEY, AR -- It's been an emotional day for everyone who has been a part of the 12-day search for missing AFC pilot Jake Harrell.

Regardless of the cold conditions and the time, crews are still out cutting through thick cold forest, making their way to Harrell and his wrecked plane.

For the past 12 days, search crews have been looking through more than 2.6 million acres trying to find the pilot.

Harrell, 34, was flying around Oden scouting wildfires for the Arkansas Forrestry Commission when he lost contact with dispatch on Jan. 31.

Crews battled 12 days of the worst weather conditions, snow, rain, sleet, below freezing temperatures, as they searched for him by air and on the ground.

Tuesday was the first say they had decent visibility. They used tips from local residents and theories from pilots to zone in on the area around Langley.

That's where they spotted Harrell's wrecked plane and the remains of a deceased pilot.

"To bring Jake back means that we put him back where we wanted to have him the entire time, with his family," said Adriana Barnes with AFC. "We know that he's not sitting out there cold at night. "We all got to go home and be warm and have a warm dinner and it killed you every night thinking, 'I'm going home, Jake isn't.'"

Now that they have located Harrell's plane, crews are in the woods with bulldozers and chainsaws trying to get to him, secure the scene around the crash site and begin the process of bringing him home.

The Forestry Commission does not have any idea how long it could take to get a team to the site.

They will most likely work through the night, relieved to have found the plane, but sad they did not have a happy ending.

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