This radar track created by CAP’s Radar Analysis Team helped narrow the search area for the missing airplane.
The Tennessee National Guard was able to locate a crashed Cessna 182 with three people aboard Tuesday in Great Smoky Mountains National Park after Civil Air Patrol’s National Radar Analysis Team directed searchers to an area very near the site.
There were no survivors.
The aircraft had been reported missing after failing to arrive as scheduled Monday afternoon at Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport in Sevierville. The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center called on CAP late Monday to assist with the search.
The radar analysis team members working the mission – Lt. Cols. John Henderson and Mark Young and 2nd Lt. Joe Ashworth – arrived at a probable crash location within 30 minutes, using team-developed software members. Collaborating closely with not only team members but also AFRCC search and rescue controllers, CAP’s National Cell Phone Forensics Team and the Tennessee Wing’s incident commander using the Mission Chat System “allowed us to quickly gather and disseminate time-critical information, to try to get searchers to the crash site as quickly as possible,” said Henderson, vice commander of the team
“They found the crash site about 300 feet from our last radar hit,” he said.
The mission was the radar team’s 62nd search and rescue mission of the year, resulting in credit for 39 finds and three saves, Henderson said.
Several members of CAP’s Tennessee Wing were deployed to the Gatlinburg area, providing aerial and ground support to the National Park Service for the search, said Col. Arlinda Bailey, wing commander.
"No matter the time of day or the season, Civil Air Patrol stands ready to serve our nation in any way possible," said incident commander Maj. Rob Borsari.