Plane missing enroute to Vancouver; pilot ID’d

Pilot identified as Lee Leslie, 41, of Vancouver

Lee Leslie, seen in an undated photo, was last seen leaving the Creswell airport on his way to Vancouver on April 21, 2015 (Courtesy: Family friend)
Lee Leslie, seen in an undated photo, was last seen leaving the Creswell airport on his way to Vancouver on April 21, 2015 (Courtesy: Family friend)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Civil Air Patrol continued search efforts for a plane that is missing somewhere over Oregon, they announced during a press conference on Thursday.

Late Thursday afternoon, the pilot was identified as Lee Cheshire Leslie, 41, of Vancouver. Leslie, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound white man, was last seen wearing a red polo shirt and light colored pants is the only confirmed person on board.

CAP officials told KOIN 6 News they received a weak emergency signal within the search area, south of the Aurora State Airport and closer to Eugene. They sent a plane and ground searchers to the area, but did not find anything, CAP officials said around 5:45 p.m.

Lt. Col.Ted Tanory said there are two types of emergency signals – digital and analog. A digital burst would tell who it belongs to and provide a registration number. The older style sends an audible signal on an emergency frequency.

The signals – ELTs – must be maintained by the pilot or the plane owner. An ELT should have a battery life of about seven days, he said.

The single engine Piper PA-28 Cherokee left Hobby Field in Creswell around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oregon CAP said. It was supposed to land at the Pearson Air Park in Vancouver, Washington but was reported missing Tuesday evening.

Oregon CAP has three aircraft and 15 people involved in the search.

Tanory said that they are still trying to determine what happened to the plane.

“The FAA radar had him on track for a period of time and then he dropped off radar,” he said. KOIN 6 News learned the last known spot was over a heavily forested area that was on the original flight path.

“We will continue searching as long as we possibly can as long, as we can safely keep our planes in the air,” he said.

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