Break for weather, maintenence, but search continues for missing plane

Update: Sept. 24, 2013 – 6:17 a.m.

The search for Alan Foster has been called off.

Original Story: Sept. 17, 2013 – 12:54 p.m.

The search is still underway for an Alaska pilot and small plane missing for the last eight days.

A single Civil Air Patrol aircraft started searching on Tuesday in an area north and west of Yakutat.

Five other CAP aircraft currently positioned in Cordova and an Alaska Air National Guard C-130 are taking a break for routine maintenance and crew rest.

“We’re also kind of waiting on the weather to clear up,” said Alaska National Guard spokesman Lt. Bernie Kale.

All of the aircraft are expected to return to the air on Wednesday.

Kale said there has been no discussion about suspending the search.

CAP aircraft have done grid searches while the C-130 has focused on high-altitude searches over steep terrain.

So, all the way to Whittier and then west of Yakutat. We have done searches from the last known point and we’ve spread out since then to cover a very wide area since there was no ELT or GPS coordinates of the aircraft.”

No physical objects have been found yet, but electronic signals were detected on Friday. Kale says the origin or location of the signals could not be determined by the C-130 crew.

47-year old Alan Foster of Eagle River and his single-engine Piper PA-32 disappeared on the afternoon of Sept. 9th after departing Yakutat. He was headed to Merrill Field in Anchorage.