Officials explain "tough decision" to suspend search for missing pilot
After two weeks of search efforts, the Alaska Air National Guard suspended the search for 61-year-old pilot Timothy Twohy. On Satrday, officials explained why they came to the tough decision.
"None of these decisions are made easily," Alaska Rescue Coordination Center Director Lt. Colonel Keenan Zerkel said. "We know it's a humanitarian decision, but once we are certain that additional effort will not result in a more positive outcome, we did make the tough decision to suspend the active search."
Twohy’s red and white Cessna 172 took off March 6 from Farewell headed for Wasilla, according to National Transportation Safety Board officials, but never arrived. Search efforts were severely hampered by low cloud cover in the area.
"When we suspend a search effort, that does not mean we close the mission or the mission is over," Zerkel said. "If we were provided with news information or clues, you know. In other parts of the world, maybe a cell phone would contact a cell tower and it would ping or a person that travels with a beacon might show movement. Unfortunately, in this area, there are really no towers or electronic means to try and track someone down. So, you know, absence of maybe somebody sees a set of fresh footprints in the snow, you know, something like that we would certainly resume a search effort."
A GoFundMe account has been set up to fund private search efforts for Twohy. As of Sunday afternoon, the page showed that $13,020 had been pledged toward the $3,000 goal.
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