By Lisa Morton
An unidentified pilot of a plane traveling from Arkansas to Van Horn with five occupants did not notify air traffic controllers after he had landed forcing them to issue an emergency response and send search crews including the Culberson County Sheriff’s Department at 10 p.m. Saturday. Officials received an emergency beacon signal about 85 miles east of El Paso placing the search area at the northwest portion of the county according to Sheriff Oscar Carrillo.
“By about 2 a.m. Sunday, it was determined that the missing plane landed in an undisclosed location that the military uses for training.” “The plane did not detour and I believe it was their intention to land on the private property all along “, said Carrillo. “I think the miscommunication was two federal agencies not talking to each other.” Whoever is running these Area 51 landings just didn’t clear it with FFA.”
He added that the FFA did their job and notified the locals for assistance. Moises Vasquez, with the Texas Department of Public Safety says the pilot landed safely but failed to close his flight plan and did not report his intent to land to air traffic controllers.