Last Known Coordinates For Missing Plane Identified
CITRUS COUNTY - Over the air and on the ground, the search for a missing pilot from Hernando County continues.
The Withalacoochee State Forest is where the search is focused on. Ground crews assembled to walk the most dense parts of the forest in a hunt for a missing man and his plane.
74-year-old Theodore Weiss and his plane are being looked for, by foot and over the skies. Weiss took off in his experimental aircraft from the Dunnellon Airport in Marion County on Saturday and planned to land near his home in Zephyrhills-- Except that never happened.
In an attempt to track Weiss' flight down, the last coordinates provided for his plane are near this portion of the Withalacoochee State Forest in Citrus County.
Captain James Pogue, a spokesperson for the Marion County Sheriff's Office said, "We're really in this together hernando county, citrus county and Marion county. We're sending over resources. We've sent over our horses, we're sending field force because apparently the area they are concentrating on is heavily wooded area tough to get into."
Commander Buddy Grant with the Citrus County Sheriff's Office said they are currently on the track they should be based on his last recorded coordinates. "This is our best estimate that this is where he's at, based on all the available information and we're going to continue with our search in the area we've been searching," Grant said.
Heather Yates Citrus a spokesperson for the County Sheriff's Office, said that the forest spans over 50,000 acres, in Citrus County alone. "We've narrowed it down to a grid, a particular grid. Like 23 or 24 grids I think are like a mike each grid. And we've been thoroughly searching those areas with some assisting agencies since Monday evening," Yates added.
More than 130 people are taking part in these search efforts.
Grant said, "He went off the radar so we have to assume that he potentially crashed his airplane and that he would need to be rescued. And at this point honestly it's been 4 days, 5 days? As every minute passes that chance of finding a positive outcome or finding him alive probably lessens. But that doesn't mean we're going to stop or slow down our search."
Officials hope to be done searching Citrus County Thursday. The goal is to make their way south into Hernando County.
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