A missing airplane and its pilot in the mountains between North Georgia and North Carolina have searchers combing the area looking for clues.
Pilot Bill Allison left Mountain Airpark in Cleveland around 9:30 a.m. Friday in a 1978 Cessna 182 RB bound for Murphy, N.C.
Allison’s wife, Wanda, reported him missing to authorities when he failed to arrive at Andrews-Murphy Airport.
Wanda Allison says her husband is an accomplished pilot who runs the North Carolina airport in the Nantahala Forest.
Federal Aviation Administration officials and Civil Air Patrol crews from Georgia and North Carolina have searched for signs of the plane or its Emergency Locator Transmitter signal along the intended route. They were joined by members of the state Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Forestry Service and Emergency Management Agencies from White and Towns counties.
The 38-mile route in Northeast Georgia is over the Appalachian Mountains and largely wooded terrain.
“It’s pretty rugged up there,” Maj. Paige Joyner of the Civil Air Patrol said. “And it’s hard to pinpoint the exact area. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack, but we have a general idea of the direction.”
Lt. Col. David Crawford of the North Carolina Wing of the CAP said Saturday evening the nearly 20-hour search had produced no leads.
His unit planned to break for the night and resume searching early today.
Residents who may have seen a low-flying aircraft Friday are asked to call local law authorities or the Civil Air Patrol at 678-570-5422.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.