Forestry Commission: No sign of plane, pilot missing since Friday


LITTLE ROCK — An Arkansas Forestry Commission plane and pilot that disappeared Friday were still missing late Monday afternoon, the commission said.

Jake Harrell took off Friday from Malvern in a single-engine Cessna to spot wildfires and was last heard from when he checked in with commission dispatchers at 1:11 p.m. that day. His last known location was Oden and he was believed to be headed from there to Wickes, the commission said.

Teams from the Arkansas Forestry Commission, U.S. Forest Service, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Montgomery and Polk County law enforcement agencies were searching in the Ouachita National Forest near Oden Monday. They do not currently need help from volunteers, the commission said, noting that roads in much of the region are impassable for vehicles because of ice storm damage.

Harrell, 34, is a part-time pilot for the commission, a North Little Rock police officer and a member of Arkansas Air National Guard 188th Fighter Wing in Fort Smith. The commission described him as a seasoned pilot.