Search suspended for missing plane

Posted: Thursday, July 03, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) The search was suspended Wednesday for plane with three people aboard that failed to reach its destination in Homer.

The red and white Cessna 180 left Hallo Bay last Wednesday and was due in Homer that same afternoon. The plane was piloted by Bert Novak of Palmer, a retired Northwest Airlines pilot. Also aboard were James and Pam Hawthorne of Lake Worth, Fla.

The route the Cessna was flying was roughly 120 miles, about half over water. The Cessna was not on floats.

The Alaska Air National Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Civil Air Patrol, the Air Force, and the Department of Fish and Game was involved in daily searches for the plane.

''After reviewing all actions taken over the last eight days, ensuring all potential leads were exhausted and all areas thoroughly searched, we are suspending the search for the missing persons and aircraft,'' Air Force Lt. Gen. Howie Chandler said Wednesday.

The search area was in a remote part of Alaska consisting of more than 6,500 square miles of uninhabited islands, glaciers, rain forests and open water. Rescuers put in over 300 hours of flight time looking for the plane.

Chandler said the search will be reopened if something new develops.

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