Air traffic control lost contact Wednesday with the pilot of a single-engine plane that took off from Wiley Post Airport in Oklahoma City.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot, identified as Bill Kinsinger by the Coast Guard, filed a flight plan to Georgetown, Texas, but the plane never made it to its destination.
FAA said the pilot continued on course and was last observed on radar about 219 miles northwest of Cancun and was headed into the Gulf of Mexico.
The aircraft is registered to Abide Aviation LLC out of Edmond.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) released the following statement about the incident:
Fighter aircraft under the direction of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) were scrambled at approximately 2 p.m. MST (3 p.m. CST) on Wednesday, January 3, from Ellington Field, Texas, in response to a small general aviation aircraft (CIRRUS SR22) that was unresponsive to FAA emergency radio contact attempts. The CIRRUS SR 22 took off from Wiley Post Airport, Oklahoma City with a filed flight plan to Georgetown, Texas. When the aircraft failed to respond to air traffic controllers, two F-16 fighter jets under the direction of NORAD were launched from Ellington Field, Texas. The F-16 pilots tried to establish communications with the CIRRUS SR22 pilot, but were unsuccessful. Those aircraft were later relieved by two Fighters from New Orleans. Additionally, NORAD & USNORTHCOM directly advised Mexican authorities, the U.S. State Department and the USCG regarding the situation. NORAD coordinated with the FAA and Mexico authorities to continue tracking and monitoring the SR22 until visibility was lost. The disposition of the aircraft is unknown at this time.
The Coast Guard said the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans launched an aircraft to investigate and reported "the pilot was slouched over and appeared unconscious."
NORAD reported to the Coast Guard the pilot was unresponsive likely due to hypoxia.
According to social media posts, Kinsinger worked with Pilots N Paws.
A spokeswoman for Integris confirmed Kinsinger is the medical director of obstetric anesthesia at Integris Baptist Medical Center and an employee of Northwest Anesthesia PC.
Integris issued the following statement on social media just before 2 p.m.:
Statement regarding Dr. John William "Bill" Kinsinger pic.twitter.com/D1MG1eFyFR— INTEGRIS Health (@integrishealth) January 4, 2018
Stay with News 9 and News9.com for more information as it becomes available.