Pierce County dive crew helps search Hood Canal for missing plane

Pierce County crews helped search Wednesday for a plane, registered to a Fox Island man, that is believed to have crashed into Hood Canal.

“We need to actually find it,” Kistap County sheriff’s Sgt. Ken Dickinson said Wednesday.

Debris, including a driver’s license, was found Monday floating near a cove near Seabbeck. Efforts to locate the wreck, including with the help from Pierce County, have not succeeded.

Robert Alexander Jr., 65, is believed to have been the only person onboard the two-seat, single-engine aircraft, known as an RV7, when it crashed Monday.

His family confirmed to The Seattle Times that investigators told them the plane likely was Alexander’s, and that he probably was onboard when it went missing after taking off from the Tacoma Narrows Airport.

Pierce County sheriff’s divers had training scheduled Wednesday but instead offered to search for the plane with their sonar equipment, Dickinson said.

The hope was that sonar would help find the plane, and that the team could send its underwater robot to get a look at the wreck.

The water in the area where searchers found the debris field is about 500 to 600 feet, he Dickinson said.

“At this point, we don’t intend on doing anything else unless the (National Transportation Safety Board) or whoever is investigating asks us for assistance,” he said.

“I know it’s going to be difficult, just because of the depth of the water. I’m sure the current is going to play a factor, moving the plane, wherever it is.”