Scottsdale pilot goes missing in Washington - East Valley Tribune: Phoenix & The Valley Of The Sun

Scottsdale pilot goes missing in Washington

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Posted: Friday, January 27, 2006 10:02 am | Updated: 2:21 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Rescue teams in Washington are searching for a Scottsdale pilot who has been missing since Wednesday.

Martin Ayres, 42, departed Scottsdale Airport in a Cessna 421 on Wednesday and was believed to be on his way to Tacoma, Wash. The plane is registered to Sugar Financial Inc. in Scottsdale, and Ayres was believed to be alone.

About 2:30 p.m., Ayres radioed the Portland, Ore., approach tower complaining of problems, said Nisha Hanchinamani, spokeswoman for the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The tower then lost radio contact with Ayres and lost radar tracking of the plane about 15 minutes later.

All available computer data point to the plane losing altitude quickly and hitting the mountainous terrain, but rescuers don’t know for sure if that is the case, Hanchinamani said.

The plane was believed to be in an area about 10 miles north of Carson, Wash., a city near the Oregon border, she said.

So far, an air search has not been possible because of poor weather, and the area poses a challenge to searchers, Hanchinamani said.

The terrain is steep, visibility is low and snow is about 4 to 8 feet deep, so rescuers are having to use snowmobiles, she added.

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