The family of a Fox Island man has been notified by the Coast Guard that it is believed he was killed Monday when his plane crashed into Hood Canal, a relative said.
Neither the body of Robert Alexander Jr., 65, nor the plane have been recovered from the water near Seabeck, where the depth is around 500 feet deep, according to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office. A search of the site turned up debris as well as a wallet, the sheriff’s office said.
Reached by phone Tuesday, Alexander’s son that his family was notified his father was likely on the plane. He declined further comment.
Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ken Dickinson said several calls about an airplane in distress came in to dispatchers around 12:50 p.m. Monday.
“One person said she saw a smaller red and white airplane in distress, spiraling toward the water,” he said. “Then she saw it hit the water and saw a debris field.”
The sheriff’s office launched its Marine Unit, but was unable to locate the wreckage, he said. The Washington State Patrol and Coast Guard joined in an air search.
More than an hour later, the crew of a Coast Guard helicopter spotted debris in a cove and “directed our Marine Unit out there where we found debris from a plane and a wallet with an ID card floating on the water,” he said.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Norcross, a spokeswoman for the Coast Guard, said the search for survivors was suspended after more than eight hours. She said no one else was believed to have been aboard the plane.
A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Tuesday that the only missing aircraft in the area is an RV7, a homemade single-engine two-seat plane, which was reported missing from the Tacoma Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor.
The plane, which was registered to Alexander, was flying on visual flight rules, so no flight plan was filed, according to FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board do not investigate the cause of incidents in which an aircraft is not located, he said.
The Coast Guard said recovery of the body and aircraft will be left to Kitsap County authorities.