Special Equipment Helped OHP Air Crew Quickly Locate Downed Plane
GROVE, Oklahoma - Spotting a downed aircraft near Grove last week only took Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers minutes once they got in the air.
When the Oklahoma Highway Patrol learned there was a downed aircraft near Zena last week they dispatched a helicopter, and in minutes of it getting there, they found the plane, thanks to some special equipment.
At any moment, troopers from the OHP's air support division can get a call to be anywhere in the state.
On Thursday, the patrol's helicopter was called to the Grove area to look for Bob Hudson and his missing plane.
Within minutes, the OHP helicopter pilots found the downed plane in a field near the Zena airport.
"One thing that the highway patrol does, is that we're able to go, and we have the manpower to stay until we get resolution,” Trooper Hank Jenks said. “Obviously, in this case, it wasn't the resolution we hoped for, but we did get resolution; not only for the family but for all of the agencies that were responding."
The quick search was made possible by special equipment on the helicopter. OHP said it's the only state agency that has the search technology.
When Hudson's plane went down, an emergency beacon started broadcasting.
"They respond to impact. If certain Gs are met, certain impact is met, that transmitter will go off and it will emit a tone that all other aircraft have the ability to receive," Jenks said. "We have the ability to not only receive signal, but to hone in on it to go to it. It was really the only that allowed us to find that downed aircraft that night so quickly."
Trooper Eddie Rose said, "Time is of the essence, and knowing that we had the capability to deploy this kind of an aircraft and get there and track down an aircraft as fast as it can - it can be a lifesaver."
The National Transportation Safety Board is continuing to investigate the crash.