Search called off for missing Palmer pilot

State officials suspended search efforts Tuesday for a missing pilot whose small aircraft disappeared after departing the Soldotna Airport for Palmer on Oct. 13. Eight days of searching yielded no results.


Brendan Mattingley, 27, of Palmer, was last seen at the airport between 8 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. preparing his Super Cub for the flight to Palmer, generally a 90-minute trip.

The 11th Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, which led the search for Mattingley, suspended efforts after eight days of continuous search-and-rescue efforts. Multiple agencies assisted the coordination center, including the Alaska Air National Guard, the Alaska State Troopers and the Civil Air Patrol, among others. The agencies flew a total of 221 hours during the search efforts, according to an Alaska Department of Military & Veteran Affairs press release.

The coordination center tasked the Kenai Civil Air Patrol on Oct. 14 to search the departure area around Soldotna, but patrol members could not locate the aircraft. Since then, multiple search-and-rescue units joined in the efforts, flying grid patterns over the pilot’s flight path, according to the press release.

All leads reported to the coordination center were researched, they said. Although the sanctioned search is suspended, private search efforts will be ongoing, and the case can be re-opened if new evidence is discovered, according to the press release.

The pilot’s family and friends are accepting donations to support the search, including fuel for the pilots. Anyone wishing to donate can make a deposit in account number 140867 at the Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union.

The Super Cub is colored green, white and red.

— Staff report