NEW ORLEANS (KXAN) — The U.S. Coast Guard has ended its search for missing pilot Bill Kinsinger, who was flying to Georgetown last week to pick up an older rescue dog when his plane went off radar in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Coast Guard says its crews searched 17,458 nautical square miles for around 79 hours. Kinsinger, 55, of Oklahoma City, was flying a Cirrus S22T single-engine plane from Oklahoma to Central Texas when he was last seen on radar at 15,000 feet going into the Gulf of Mexico on Jan. 3.
“Ending a search is a difficult decision that we put the utmost thought and consideration into,” said Capt. David Cooper, chief of incident management, Eighth Coast Guard District. “Dr. Kinsinger was a well loved man and our hearts go out to everyone impacted during this tragic time.”
Air station crews in Texas, Florida, North Carolina and Alabama helped search for the pilot, as well as the motor vessel Gas Wisdom and two Mexican Navy ships.
Navy planes from New Orleans were sent to investigate and reported seeing Kinsinger in the air slouched over and appeared to be unconscious. The Coast Guard reported the man was likely unresponsive due to hypoxia, a lack of oxygen in the blood.
Kinsinger was working with the organization “Pilots N Paws” to help transport a husky.