Search for missing plane, Andrews men continues

Coast Guard expands search area from 500 to 1,000 square miles

Posted: Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Coast Guard continued to search Monday for two missing pilots from Juneau who didn't return from Young Lake on Saturday afternoon as scheduled.

Two Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk search and rescue crews from Air Support Facility Cordova and Air Station Sitka arrived in Juneau Monday morning to expand the existing search.

An Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter, Alaska State Troopers and Civil Air Patrol aircraft also are assisting in the search.

Coast Guard Station Juneau will be conducting water shoreline searches all day Monday.

The Coast Guard is searching a 1,000-square-mile area stretching from Mansfield Peninsula to the north and the northern section of Glass Peninsula to the south and an area west of Juneau to Hawk Inlet.

Rescue crews searched through heavy patches of fog and scattered rain showers throughout the weekend. The weather limited efforts, Petty Officer Levi Read said.

Brian Andrews, 56, and his son, Brandon Andrews, 24, did not return from a trip to Young Lake after leaving Juneau at about 3:45 p.m. Saturday. They had dropped a family member off in Juneau with some camping gear, then left for another round-trip flight to their cabin on Admiralty Island to pick up more gear.

A four-person team from Juneau Mountain Rescue hiked into the cabin Sunday and discovered the gear had been retrieved.

Both men are reportedly experienced pilots. A family member reported the overdue aircraft on Saturday to the Federal Aviation Administration. Their flight to the cabin about 20 miles southwest of the city was expected to last no longer than 40 minutes.

Brian Andrews is the deputy commissioner for the Alaska Department of Revenue.

The men were last seen wearing hip waders and inflatable life jackets. They are both 6 feet tall with blonde hair. The floatplane is a Cessna-182 and is white with red and silver trim. The tail number is N935OX.

The Coast Guard and other search and rescue aircraft are saturating the designated search area and recommend the public contact the Coast Guard before attempting personal searches, and notify the Coast Guard of any possible sightings of the missing aircraft.

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