Missing pilot found dead inside crashed plane

OLYMPIA — A Tacoma pilot has been identified after his crashed plane was found in the wooded forests near Queets, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Rod Collen was found dead inside the 2006 Cessna T182 Turbo Skylane, DOT said on Monday. Searchers said he likely died on impact. He had been missing for 36 days.

The Collen family has been notified, DOT said in press release.

Collen departed from the Tacoma Narrows Airport at 5:35 p.m. March 6, and his plane fell off radar abruptly 45 minutes later.

DOT and partners searched a 36-square-mile wooded area for two weeks, and suspended the search on March 20 after finding no trace of the pilot or aircraft.

On April 7, crews returned to the area using a new hypothesis of what may have happened to the plane provided by a search and rescue partner in British Columbia, DOT said. Search conditions had improved greatly thanks to the warmer weather, which had made earlier efforts of locating a white plane difficult in snow.

During that flight, crews noticed some items of interest, but they could not be positively identified from the air, DOT said.

On Monday, a combined team from DOT Air Search and Rescue, the Quinault Emergency Management and a K9 team from the King County Search and Rescue Office hiked into the area and identified the aircraft in densely wooded terrain.

Assisting DOT Air Search and Rescue crews were the state Department of Natural Resources; Tacoma Police Department; Olympic National Park; Quinault Tribal Nation; Jefferson County, Grays Harbor County and Pierce County sheriff’s offices; U.S. Coast Guard; the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center; Civil Air Patrol National Forensics Radar Team and Washington Air Search and Rescue.

More in News

Sewer upgrades set at Sequim schools

Pumps to be replaced at elementary facilities

Clallam County defers 7 positions in budget

Two jobs connected with general fund will be reconsidered in 6 months

Worst of rainfall over on Peninsula

Atmospheric river unleashes flooding, downed trees

Port Townsend OKs its budget for 2024

Reflects more than $60 million in expenses

Port of Port Townsend’s process for Short’s Farm underway

Steering committee includes farmers, land use organizations

Clallam residents reappointed to advisory boards

The Clallam County commissioners have reappointed several residents to… Continue reading

Blacklight art requested for show

Art for the Bring Your Own Blacklight Art Show,… Continue reading

Santa Claus, portrayed by John Greiner of Port Angeles, gets licks and kisses from Maru, a white husky mix belonging to Ally Kreider of Port Angeles, at the second annual Santa Paws holiday photo event on Saturday at Petsense in Port Angeles. Pet owners were allowed to bring their critters for a photo with Santa in an event sponsored by the Soroptimist International Noon Club of Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Holiday kisses

Santa Claus, portrayed by John Greiner of Port Angeles, gets licks and… Continue reading

Clallam County: 2-phase approach for Towne Road

Commissioners want trail atop levee

Jefferson County budget has good outlook

Commissioners expected to vote next week

Sheriff’s deputy, good Samaritan rescue two from water

Two people were rescued from 1,000 feet offshore in Squamish… Continue reading

Law enforcement: Sleeping smoker cause of house fire

A man who fell asleep while smoking was determined… Continue reading