Searches For Missing Aircraft Enter Third Day
ANN REAL TIME UPDATE: 0800 EDT -- The search for a New
Jersey pilot missing since Sunday entered its third day with no
sign of the 58-year old man and no sign of his yellow Cessna
It was one of two searches underway in New Jersey
Monday, after a helicopter disappeared in the southern part of the
state. Authorities concentrated their efforts to find the
yellow-and-white helo near a cell tower, after they called the cell
phone of one of the two people thought to be on board and traced
its signal to that tower.
Roland Anthony Melanson's Cessna disappeared from radar screens
over Sussex County, NJ, at approximately 0730 Sunday. Authorities
said he was the only person on board. Melanson had departed
Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford, CT, after obtaining an FAA
clearance (type unknown).
State troopers said Melanson was just four miles from the
airport when he apparently tried to turn back, then
The area is described as rugged and
State police are using a helicopter, boats and ground teams --
some equipped with infrared tracking systems -- to locate the 182,
but have so far come up empty-handed.
The helicopter, thought to be carrying Thomas Navickas, 61, of
Clearwater, FL, and Christian Gafke, 34, of New Orleans, LA,
The search for the helicopter (type not known) was centered on
Atlantic County, near Mullica Township. New Jersey forestry
officials prepared to use bulldozers, if needed, to clear a path to
any potential crash site.