Richard Martin, a hobby pilot, vanished after taking off from Dowagiac Airport in the US state of Michigan on Sunday, 10th September.
The search for Martin has reportedly intensified after he vanished during what has been described as a “routine flight” in his homemade Sonex Plane, which he built in 2005.
Newsflash obtained a statement from the Dowagiac Police Department on Monday, 11th September, saying: “On Sunday, September 10th, 2023 at approximately 8:13 PM, Dowagiac Police were dispatched to the Dowagiac Municipal Airport for a missing pilot, Richard Martin (82 years old), and Martin’s Sonex Plane; Tail Number N569SX.
“Dowagiac Municipal Airport Manager, reported to officers Mr. Martin regularly flies his plane for approximately 1-2 hours on Sunday Mornings. Martin reportedly took off from the Dowagiac Municipal Airport at around 11 AM on Sunday, September 10th, 2023. A family member of Martin’s waited for Martin to return; however, after several hours Martin had not returned.
“At this time Dowagiac Police with assistance from the Michigan State Police, Federal Aviation Administration, Civil Air Patrol, and South Bend Air Traffic Control are still attempting to find leads that may lead to the location of Mr. Martin and his Sonex Plane.”
The statement also said: “This incident remains under investigation by Dowagiac Police. Anyone with information is asked to call the Dowagiac Police Department at (269)-782-9743, or the Cass County Tip Line at 1-(800)-462-9328.”
And the search has now reportedly intensified after Civil Air Patrol was unable to detect any signal from the aircraft.
Oscar Azevedo, Dowagiac Municipal Airport Manager, told local media: “It was a routine flight for him, just for the fun, typically his flights last for an hour or so on average, he stays within the area.
“It’s something he does frequently when the weather is good.”
Kevin Roman, Deputy Chief at Dowagiac Police Department said: “Right now, is a crucial time because it has been 48 hours since he was last seen.”
Martin has been described as a serious pilot who has been flying for over 50 years. His wife Kathy is hopeful that her husband is still alive, according to reports.
The search is ongoing.