Forestry Commission Searching for Pilot, Plane Through the Night

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- The Arkansas Forestry Commission confirms it is continuing its search efforts through the night for a plane and pilot it has not heard from since shortly after 1 p.m. Friday.

The pilot didn't check in with AFC Central Dispatch in Malvern. Montgomery County dispatch says the pilot gave his last location as three miles west of Oden in Montgomery County, but the plane could have traveled some distance from that area.

Search crews are being assembled and deployed from an Incident Command Station in Mena.

According to reports, the aircraft was flying a standard detection route through west Arkansas, locating possible wildfires and relaying those coordinates to dispatch.

AFC says pilots check in every 30 minutes.

The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Flight Service Station has been notified, and formal search and rescue procedures have started.

“We are doing all that we can to locate the pilot and plane. We will keep you posted as soon as information becomes available,” said State Forester Joe Fox in a release.

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