Search Area Narrows for Missing Tacoma Pilot Who Took Off From Gig Harbor Airport

March 15, 2023
Tacoma pilot Rodney Collen was last seen Monday, March 6, when he took off on a Cessna T182T Turbo Skylane from the Tacoma Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor.

It's been one week since Tacoma pilot Rodney Collen and his plane went missing.

Collen was last seen Monday, March 6, when he took off from the Tacoma Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor.

The News Tribune previously reported that Collen, 52, left on a Cessna T182T Turbo Skylane about 6 p.m. according to the Aviation Safety Network. Flight Aware last tracked the plane over the Key Peninsula, The News Tribune reported.

His family reported him missing and posted about his disappearance on Facebook.

WSDOT Air Search and Rescue was notified March 6 and initial search efforts with the Air Force began that night, Tacoma Police spokesperson Wendy Haddow previously told The News Tribune.

WSDOT conducted additional air searches on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Weather conditions affected search and rescue flying conditions, according to a WSDOT press release Friday.

"No signal has been detected from the plane's Emergency Locator Transmitter since it went off radar, but search officials have narrowed the search area to a 36-square-mile section of forest land with rugged terrain and some logging activity," the press release said.

The plane descended near the Jefferson and Grays Harbor county line on Quinault tribal land near Queets, WSDOT officials said.

The search remains active.

An update WSDOT posted 10 a.m. Monday, March 13, said: "If weather conditions improve, crews will be standing by to attempt air search efforts later today. ... We continue to work with the Quinault Nation Emergency Management Team about potential ground search efforts in the 36-square-mile search area near Queets."

WSDOT's announcement said the agency expects to have another update at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

"We are also engaged with several property owners the search area covers, including Olympic National Park, the state Department of Natural Resources, local jurisdictions and tribal partners," the announcement said.

Anyone who thinks they saw or heard a plane in the area is asked to call the State Emergency Operations Center at 1-800-258-5990. The plane's tail number is N24289.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

This story was originally published March 13, 2023, 2:18 PM.


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