April 8, 2020 – Missing Person

On 4-8-2020 at 1830 a water rescue call was dispatched to the Falls Lake dam area. Crews searched in boats and used divers to attempt to locate the drowning victim. Divers did eventually locate the victim. Fire Demon 1, a Cessna 182, was dispatched the following morning to attempt to locate the victim from the air.

Departure from Raleigh-Durham (RDU) International was well coordinated with ATC. They were aware this was a SAR flight and gave us direct routing to the incident location. The location was only 11 miles from RDU so arrival on the scene was prompt.

After arrival at the incident location, Tactical Flight Officer (TFO), Daryl Cash, and I began a series of right turn orbits around the location of the Falls Lake dam, boat ramp, incident location and lake outlet.

We made seven circuits of the area and extended area at 2,000’ MSL with 20-degrees of flaps at 100 MPH.

We had to wait at RDU for a line of thunderstorms to pass before we departed. Following the line of thunderstorms, visibility was 20 miles with a scattered layer of low clouds at approximately 500’ AGL. You can see the scattered clouds in the flight video.

TFO Cash called our air search once he felt he had observed the shorelines closely using two different pairs of gyroscopically stabilized binoculars. With the second set of binoculars, he captured some video footage that was combined into the flight video linked below.

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