Plane of missing AR Forestry Pilot Jake Harrell found - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Plane of missing AR Forestry Pilot Jake Harrell found

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MENA (KATV) - The Arkansas Forestry Commission has confirmed that missing pilot, Jake Harrell, has been found dead. Searchers found Harrell's plane in an area outside of Glenwood, Tuesday, according to a news release from the commission. 

Here is the entire press release:

A Civil Air Patrol plane has located - by sighting from the air - the plane of missing AFC Pilot, Jake Harrell, in an area outside of Glenwood. The site is in Montgomery County and was confirmed by a State Police helicopter. It is unconfirmed at this point if pilot, Jake Harrell, is alive; ground crews, including law enforcement officials, have been deployed to the site.

No other details are known at this time. Updates will be provided as soon as possible. Phone calls from the media will only be taken at the number listed above.

Jake Harrell has been missing since Friday, January 31st, when he failed to check in after communicating with AFC Central Dispatch in Malvern. He was last known flying in an area over Oden along a regularly scheduled wildfire detection route. Jake is 34 years old and has flown with the AFC since 2005 – alongside service with the Arkansas Air National Guard 188th Fighter Wing and employment with the North Little Rock Police Department.

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

The search for pilot Harrell began Jan. 31 when he disappeared while on a flight from Oden to Wickes in search of wildfires in the region.

Winter weather conditions have hampered search efforts and at one point, officials believed wreckage of the aircraft might be obscured by snow and ice that had fallen in the rugged mountainous area.

Commission spokeswoman Adriane Barnes said searchers used satellite images and information from Harrell's cell phone company in an effort to narrow the search area and find the aircraft.

Harrell's family thanked the community Sunday for the continued search effort in the case, issuing the following statement:

"We would like to thank the many people who have shared their love, support and prayers during the search for Jake.  We are especially grateful to the Arkansas Forestry Commission and State Forester, Joe Fox for their leadership in the effort.  The Governor's Office, the US Forest Service, the Arkansas National Guard, Polk County Sheriff's office, Montgomery County Sheriff's office, Scott County Sheriff's office, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, Civil Air Patrol, National Weather Service, Arkansas State Police, the 188th Fighter Wing and the North Little Rock Police Department have all been supportive and responsive in an unparalleled display of cooperation and coordination.  Our heartfelt thanks go to the pilots, ground personnel, and the team in the Incident Command Center.  We are confident the many agencies involved are doing everything in their power to find Jake.  We are thankful to be part of the Arkansas family! We continue to be hopeful and optimistic.  We are praying for a miracle and for Jake's safe return to his home and family."