UMSTEAD STATE PARK – A plane coming in for landing at RDU International Sunday night suddenly disappeared from radar on approach. Communication with the pilot was cut and Air Traffic Control couldn’t tell what happened. The area where the plane disappeared from radar is over the 5,200 acre Umstead State Park adjacent to the airport. Communications were lost with the plane when it disappeared from radar, sparking an overnight search and rescue sweep of the 5,200 acre state park adjacent to the airport to locate the wreckage and passengers.
They searched all night.
No sign yet of a missing Piper PA32 plane that vanished from radar en route to RDU Sunday night. Search & rescue operation by several agencies resumes after sunup in Umstead Park, where it’s very dark, woods are thick and access is limited. @ABC11_WTVD pic.twitter.com/YGj5oQTrRT
— Anthony Wilson (@AnthonyABC11) October 21, 2019
“[…] Sunday night, a Highway Patrol helicopter searched for a heat signature from the ground – a signal typical of a crash landing. Fire and rescue crews left for the night around 3 a.m. The search resumed Monday around 6:30 a.m. The search grid inside the park was narrowed.
“It could take a very long time for us to find this plane,” said RDU spokesperson Crystal Feldman. “No one is going home until this plane is found.” […]”
That moment came Monday morning when the plane was found by searchers perched high in the tree canopy. The initial pictures make it clear why it was so hard to locate, especially at night.
BREAKING: RDU confirms search crews have located the wreckage of private plane on Umstead Park’s Reedy Creek Multi-Use Trail.
NCHP and park rangers securing the scene; NTSB notified; Umstead State Park now closed to the public. #abc11 pic.twitter.com/FxPJHgq5gD
— Joel Brown (@JoelBrownABC11) October 21, 2019
There is still no word as to the injuries of those on the plane, or how many people were on it. Follow updates here.