Ground crews on way to possible crash site of missing plane

Published: May. 31, 2016 at 10:32 AM CDT
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UPDATE: 06/01/16, 2:08 p.m.

A burned pattern in trees has been located seven miles from Falls of Rough Airport.

Ground crews are on their way to confirm what could be the crash site of a missing plane flown by Robert Dalzell, who went missing earlier this week.

More information will be added as it becomes available.


UPDATE 05/31/16 10:27 p.m.

After searching all day Tuesday, the Civil Air Patrol has narrowed its search from four counties and hundreds of miles, to about three to four miles from the Falls of Rough Airport in Grayson County.

"We view probable areas from where an aircraft could be missing from or going down in. We plot out that area and go and search that area," Kentucky Wing Commander, Cory Felts said.

Crews say most of the terrain they are searching is covered in trees, making it hard to see.

The search for Robert Dalzell was called off Tuesday night around 7 p.m.

The plan for Wednesday is to increase the number of people searching in the air and on the ground.

"We will use the time this evening once it gets dark, to plot out additional areas. Cause we have been searching other smaller air fields on private property or the air fields in the area such as the Lietchfield airport. Just to see if perhaps there was a problem and this gentleman landed there as well," Felts added.

The search for the missing pilot will resume first thing Wednesday morning at the Falls of Rough Airport.


It's been more than 24 hours since pilot Robert Dazell and his plane went missing over western Kentucky.

By late Tuesday afternoon it had been a long day for search crews.

Due to the size of their search area the process was slow, spanning four counties and miles of wooded areas.

"For us that means we're looking at all Corridors, points between Falls of Rough and Ohio County and all the way up to Owensboro. All those main corridors, several miles one way or the other, it makes a huge difference for us. So as of now we've got search parties up in the air looking for any signs of wreckage debris," said KSP Trooper Corey King.

Dalzell was reported missing when he didn't meet another pilot for a scheduled dinner, something completely out of character for the experienced pilot.

"Our agency then became concerned because you're looking at roughly 20 hours after the fact, after he was supposed to return. That's when we started to ping his cell phone," explained Trooper King.

That 'ping' was the last known location his cell phone sent out, about five to ten miles outside Falls of Rough.

The problem with relying on that locator to find the pilot is that a cell phone isn't designed to 'ping' every single minute.

"That is somewhat of a lifeline for us in locating missing people, but also it doesn't ping at a fast rate. Sometimes it's three minutes, sometimes it's ten minutes."

When attempts to reach the pilot via that cell phone became unsuccessful, Trooper King said the urgency increased.

"Either that phone was destroyed, or the battery is dead, those are the two things that could have happened."

Two options that left nearly an endless amount of questions

"One thing we do know - we don't know where he's at."

With only about an hour of daylight left, getting the answer to that question was the top priority for search crews.

KSP says they will search until nightfall, but then they'll likely have to call the search off until Wednesday morning.

Here is some information on Robert Dalzell Jr.

-Robert C. Dalzell Jr.

-70 years old

-White Male


-175 pounds

-Grey hair

-Hazel eyes

-2012 Green Aero Criquet Bogota fixed wing plane. Tail number N429BB.

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