Radio Recordings Released In Search Of Missing OKC Doctor, Plane
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma - It's been nearly a month since the search for Oklahoma City Dr. Bill Kinsinger was called off. His plane was deemed "missing" over the Gulf of Mexico.
Now, News On 6 has the conversations between fighter jet pilots and air traffic control.
Jet Pilot: “He’s way off course. We’re actually scrambling on him because we think he might be passed out.”
Those are the first words said on the recording released by the FAA in the search for Dr. Kinsinger.
A pair of F-16 fighter jets from a North American Aerospace Defense base were following Kinsinger's ultimately drifting course.
A philanthropist in his spare time, Kinsinger was supposed to be flying from Wiley Post Airport to Georgetown Texas. A rescue flight for homeless animals in need of homes.
But he soon became unresponsive, passing through several air traffic control radar towers. The handoff to Houston can be heard, with Kinsinger still not responding to calls.
Air Traffic Control: “This guy has not answered them - he's gone backwards. They think maybe he's passed out. They're sending people out to find him.”
Shortly after, the fighter jets arrive, charting their course to Kinsinger's. The small single prop plane was heading out over the Gulf of Mexico.
Jet Pilot: “Request maneuvering airspace to the north for intercept and then it'll be a left turn back to the southeast.”
Eventually, the NORAD pilots radio in...
Jet Pilot: “Yes center, Shield 51, the intercept is complete. The toi is approximately 120-30.”
While not in the recording, Coast Guard officials say the pilots saw Kinsinger slumped over in his cockpit. They believe he passed out from a lack of oxygen.
The jet pilots were later forced to leave Kinsinger's plane which was on course to cross into Mexican airspace. Kinsinger was lost somewhere over the Gulf.
The official search for Dr. Kinsinger was called off several days later, but his son is hoping to raise money to fund a search of his own.