Authorities Search for Missing Pilot

grand canyon

GRAND CANYON – Authorities are searching for a missing pilot near Grand Canyon after the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office contacted the National Park Service about a missing person.

Joseph Radford, 47, of Glendale, Ariz., and his RV-6 homebuilt, experimental aircraft have been missing since Friday morning.

The Grand Canyon Airport south of Grand Canyon National Park received a report from a general aviation pilot of an activated emergency locator transmitter (also known as an ELT).

The airport immediately notified the National Park Service (NPS) because
the ELT had been detected approximately 30 miles northwest of Grand Canyon
Village in the vicinity of the Fossil Corridor within Grand Canyon National
Park, according to a press release.

The park’s helicopter flew in that area but did not detect any signs of a downed plane or the beacon, and the search was called off.

On Monday, the park received the call from CCSO and began their search again. NPS concentrated their search efforts in Scorpion Ridge, near Dragon corridor, on Monday and on Tuesday the park’s helicopter flew search patterns in the Fossil Corridor and Scorpion Ridge. CCSO is continuing their investigation and began contacting backpackers in the area.

According to the press release, today’s efforts have been Bedrock and Galloway canyons and Fossil Corridor.

Joseph Radford is a white male, with blue eyes, graying hair and a receding hairline.  He is 5’11” tall and weighs approximately 190 pounds.  His plane is described as an RV6 Kit Built, cherry red airplane with tail number N650RV.

If you believe that you have seen Radford or his aircraft since Friday, March 11, at 8:30 a.m., please contact the National Park Service at 928-638-7805.

The latest estimate of the total search area is 600 square miles with the National Park Service leading joint search operations with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.


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