Search continues for plane in "distress" - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Search continues for plane in "distress"

There are new details about a search for a plane that is sending out a distress signal.

The signal was first detected around 8:00 Tuesday night near Hughes, Arkansas. It disappeared and later reappeared near President's Island. And now investigators think it's near Tunica in Mississippi.

Authorities know they have an emergency alert that's going off. But where it's going off is a totally different story.

Action News Chopper 5 hovered over Hughes Arkansas late Tuesday night during the search for a plane thought to have crashed.

It was a search set off by an aircraft emergency beacon sounding over Hughes. But crews have yet to find a plane crash or the emergency beacon that's still sounding.

"It is usually not that difficult to find one of these emergency beacons since they're usually activated in an airport, but the location being given to us by the satellite has been difficult to pin down in this instance," said Major Blake Sasse with Arkansas Civil Air Patrol.

The emergency beacon keeps moving. "Somewhere between Forrest City, Memphis, and Tunica," added Sasse.

One reading put the beacon in the middle of Downtown Memphis. Civil Air Patrol believes it to be one of many false readings over the past 18 hours.

Historically 11 out of 12 emergency beacons are set off by accident.

It could be an engineer activating the beacon during maintenance, a hard landing jostling the beacon on or radio frequencies crossing.

In this case, Authorities say they're likely not searching for a downed plane.

Sasse added, "The civil air patrol hasn't heard of any overdue airplanes. Or airplanes that may have dropped off radar or had any other indication that there may have been an accident. Right now, all we have is the activation of this beacon."

Civil Air Patrol Wings from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas are all involved in this search.

Random beacon's aren't totally unusual. In fact, one was even tracked to a stadium Jumbo-Tron.


Click here to email Nick Kenney.

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