An experienced pilot is feared missing after he took off from the Carson City Airport for a casual flight yesterday afternoon and hadn't returned by this morning.
Carson City Sheriff's Search and Rescue Crews with the aid of its aerosquadron took to the skies this morning in the search for the missing 51-year-old Carson City man.
Undersheriff Steve Albertsen said the pilot, Steve Brown, was last seen about 3:30 p.m. by witnesses at the airport who said Brown told them he was going to fly over the river.
His wife discovered his vehicle still parked at the hangar last night and it was still there this morning when officers became involved about 9 a.m.
Albertsen said there were no reports last night or this morning of any fires or loud explosions that could indicate a crash.
"It could be nothing, we've had missing planes before that have ended up just landing in Truckee," he said.
Officers contacted both the Lyon County and Minden airports and neither reported the aircraft, a Pitts S-1, experimental aerobatics biplane, at their airports.
The missing plane is black with yellow trim and the words "Tonopah Low" on the side. Lt. Ray Saylo said the wingspan is about 12 feet and the engine has been described as sounding like a chain saw.
"It's a very small, very fast, very loud plane," he said.
Brown has competed in several local air shows and is a very experienced pilot, Saylo said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Carson City dispatch at 887-2007.