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[PHOTO COURTESY OF ARKANSAS FORESTRY COMMISSION] Incident Command Crew works with the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center via live chat - cross-referencing maps and search routes.

Ground Crews Searching Continuously for Missing Pilot – Jake Harrell

Mena, Ark. – Ground crews searched all night along routes below the supposed flight path of missing AFC pilot, Jake Harrell. Last jake-harrellnight, more than 200 miles were traveled along back roads and rugged trails, searching for some sign of the pilot or plane.

Ground squads are focusing today on the north side of the supposed flight route with steep slopes, near Oden. Four wheelers will be used to access challenging  sections of terrain. This concentrated effort is based on information from Jake’s cell provider about what is thought to be his last transmission before he went missing on Friday. The Incident Command Post in Mena is carefully monitoring the weather situation as ice and rain may move through the area. Search crews will not stop; however aerial search attempts may not be possible today.

“We are doing our best to speculate about which direction Jake may have taken the plane on Friday, if his visibility was becoming difficult. We are hopeful that by narrowing search efforts to this area, that we may have a good chance of locating him,” said Billy Black, AFC Investigator.

The Incident Command structure in Mena continues as a Unified Command effort with the following partners involved: statewide Arkansas Forestry Commission crews, Polk,  Montgomery, and Scott County Law Enforcement, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas National Guard, U.S. Forest Service, Arkansas State Police, Emergency Management crews from Polk and Montgomery County, local volunteer fire departments, and the Civil Air Patrol.

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