A search is underway to locate a small plane that might have crashed in the Mt. Hood National Forest.
On Monday, the pilot of a Cessna 150 that left Salem reported ice forming on the aircraft. Soon after the report, air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane.
It's believed to have gone down in the Fish Creek area of Clackamas County. It's one of the most rugged and difficult to reach areas in the county.
Sheriff's Office Search & Rescue (SAR) Coordinators launched a mission to locate and then respond to the presumed crash scene -- enlisting help from:
- Clackamas County Search & Rescue (CSAR)
- U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement
- Oregon Office of Emergency Management
- Mountain Wave Emergency Communications
- Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue
- Aircraft from the Civil Air Patrol, Hood River County Sheriff's Office, and Oregon Army National Guard. Sheriff's Office deputies are also deploying a drone to the area to help search the rugged terrain.
The mission has presented several complex factors -- including pinpointing the plane's exact location and navigating the complex, wildfire-damaged terrain.
Limited coordinates place the aircraft in the likely general area of Fish Creek, an area affected by the unprecedented September wildfires.
On Tuesday, Nov. 17, a CSAR hasty team attempted to reach the area the plane is believed to have crashed: in the Fish Creek Basin, approximately seven miles from the closest access point. This is considered one of the more difficult wilderness areas to reach in Clackamas County, and wildfire damage has left the area additionally hazardous and difficult to navigate; challenges include an approximate 7,000-foot elevation gain, land and rock slides, fallen trees, and a lack of a navigable trail system. The hasty team was not able to reach the site on Tuesday due to these adverse conditions.
Today, search-and-rescue personnel tried to locate a better access point to the likely crash location using 4x4 vehicles, but were unsuccessful. A request went out to the 304th Pararescue Squadron with the U.S. Air Force Reserve Command. At this writing, a U.S. Navy helicopter will soon deploy out of Whidbey Island, WA to pick up the pararescue crew and drop them in the wilderness in another attempt to locate the crash and any casualties or survivors.
Missing are a father and son: Jared Scott Sabin, 44, and Gavyn Scott Sabin, 19, both of Salem. It is unknown at this time who was piloting the missing aircraft.
Source: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office