Search underway for plane near NC airport after radar lost, distress signal sent

State News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Authorities said that a distress signal was sent and that a plane vanished from radar near Raleigh-Durham International Airport Sunday night and that a search is underway for a missing plane.

The incident involved a single-engine plane and closed the airport for nearly an hour, according to Raleigh police and RDU officials.

The incident began around 7:25 p.m. when a small plane approaching the airport from the east was lost on radar near Umstead Park, according to a news release from RDU.

Raleigh police said a distress signal was sent.

CBS 17 journalists saw search and rescue crews — including ambulances — along Ebenezer Church Road, which is a boundary for Umstead State Park.

The RDU statement, released at 8:31 p.m., said that the airport had reopened.

RDU officials asked people to avoid the area of Umstead State Park while the search and rescue is underway.

Crystal Feldman, RDU spokeswoman, said that the airport had to be closed because airport fire units initially responded to the missing plane. Once the fire units returned, the airport reopened, which officials said was only 20 minutes later.

“Search and rescue efforts are underway and will continue to be RDU’s top priority,” Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority, said in a news release.

Here is the full statement from RDU officials:

At approximately 7:25 p.m. RDU Airport Operations and Fire Rescue were notified by FAA air traffic control that a small general aviation aircraft approaching the airport was lost on radar somewhere in the Umstead Park area.

RDU operations and fire fighting units immediately responded to the general area, which closed the airport for a brief period of time. At this time search and rescue efforts have been initiated and the airport is now open.

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