WALLACE, W.Va. — First responders are gathered at the Wallace Volunteer Fire Department as they continue to search for a plane carrying two passengers that went missing from radar Tuesday afternoon.
“Sometime after 3:30 (Tuesday) afternoon, a plane flying at 6,800 feet was on radar from Bridgeport at the Harrison/Wetzel county line,” Harrison County Sheriff Robert Matheny said.
Matheny said Harrison/Taylor and Marion County 911 Centers were notified of the missing plane about 9 a.m. Wednesday by the Office of Emergency Service in Charleston.
Emergency crews then set up a command center at the Wallace Volunteer Fire Department.
“We have crews searching on the ground, and we also have a drone flying the area,” Matheny said. “There’s an active search going on over in Wetzel County. The State Police have a helicopter searching that area.
“Right now we’re just trying to find that aircraft.”
The Federal Aviation Administration reports the aircraft is a Cirrus SR20 that departed from Delaware Coastal Airport in Georgetown, Delaware Tuesday. It was heading for Fleming-Mason Airport in Flemingsburg, Kentucky.
“Our detectives are doing an investigation now to the origin of the aircraft, how many people might be on it, who might be piloting that. They’re working on that right now,” Matheny said.
Matheny said he is optimistic that the search may be one for rescue, rather than recovery.
“If it would’ve exploded or if there had been a major crash, we might have got a call,” he said. “Nothing’s confirmed. We’re not 100 percent on anything, but what our hopes are is if the plane is down, to find it and be able to rescue anybody that might have been on it.”
The plane’s last known location was 23 miles northwest of Clarksburg.