Search continues for missing plane

Posted: Monday, July 08, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A pilot and his passenger were missing Sunday after their plane failed to return from a short trip on the July 4 holiday, according to the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center.

The pilot, identified as Larry Erie, an employee of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Palmer, and a female friend left from an airstrip north of Anchorage at about noon on the holiday and headed to Mount McKinley. They were expected to return that evening.

A friend reported them overdue.

Two planes were involved in the search Saturday, which was expanded to 13 Civil Air Patrol planes on Sunday, according to Maj. Mike Haller with the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center.

Haller said the two are in a red and white modified Super Cub. Erie is carrying survival gear and has a cell phone. He did not file a flight plan.

Erie told his son he was going to check on some moose hunting areas near McKinley. Searchers also were focusing on areas just south of the Kahiltna Glacier and north of Toklat.

The planes also were looking near two passes Erie used when flying north to Fairbanks.



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