The pilot, who works for Rotorcraft Leasing, and was flying a Bell 206 L1 helicopter, made a mayday call at 9:37 a.m. July 17th. He was returning from an oil rig 115 miles south of Cameron.
The Federal Aviation Authority notified the Coast Guard at 9:45 a.m., and shortly thereafter, Coast Guard Air Station Houston launched an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew to search. The helicopter crew found a debris field of helicopter wreckage at 11:52 a.m.
The helicopter crew and a boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Sabine, Texas, are searching for the pilot. The Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane, a 270-foot medium endurance cutter, homeported in Portsmouth, Va., is en route to assist with the search.
Four helicopters from Petroleum Helicopters Inc. and an offshore supply vessel are assisting in the search.
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