Search Called Off for Missing Pilot

The search for a missing Palmer pilot last seen at the Soldotna Airport, has been suspended Tuesday (10/23) afternoon. Private search efforts are ongoing.

Photo Courtesy: 'Bring Brendan Mattingley Home' FB page

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by Megan Mazurek

ANCHORAGE - The search for a missing Palmer pilot last seen at the Soldotna Airport nearly two weeks ago (10/13) has been suspended Tuesday (10/23) afternoon. Brendan Mattingley, 27, was last seen flying his PA-18 Super Cub from Soldotna to Wolf Lake but never arrived at his destination.

Private pilots, spotters and food/cash/fuel donations have been given to the search efforts. No signs of Mattingley have been found. According to a press release sent by the Alaska Air National Guard, the volunteer's search efforts generated 250 hours of flight time utilizing a total of 54 aircrafts.

Other state and federal agencies helped lead the search efforts. The 11th Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) received help from the Alaska Air National Guard, Civil Air Patrol, State Troopers and U.S. Coast Guard. In total, the agencies logged 221 hours of flight time and 66 missions during the search efforts.

Mattingley's brother, Darren Mattingley, told Your Alaska link that Brendan was not a long-time Alaska Aviator. "He's fairly new to flying," Darren said."He's been up in the air now a little over two years I imagine." The 27-year-old did not file a flight plan which not only gives authorities the departure and arrival information but the direction the pilot was headed.

A large portion of the search efforts have been focused along the Turnagain Arm, Chickaloon Flats and the Soldotna Game Refuge between Soldotna and Cook Inlet.

Private search efforts will be ongoing and the case can be re-opened by the RCC if new evidence is discovered.