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Rescue teams searching for missing paraglider

Updated August 27, 2020 - 7:18 pm

The search is on for a paraglider pilot who went missing while on a flight in north-central Nevada.

As stated in a news release issued this week, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office received the initial call from White Pine County officials on Aug. 23, that the paraglider, identified as James “Kiwi” Johnston (Oroc), did not complete his trip as planned.

The release noted that Johnston, along with other pilots, had lifted off from the Shoshone Mountains near Round Mountain, on Aug. 22, with a goal of reaching Wendover, in north-eastern Nevada.

After approximately 24 hours of no contact with Johnson, the other two pilots in the group notified authorities.

“Nye County Sheriff’s Office dispatched a search and rescue team to respond to the area of the last logged GPS coordinates in the northern end of Nye County near Ninemile Peak,” the release stated. “NCSO staff met with Eureka County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue for a combined effort response as Ninemile Peak is very close to the county line and within the search area.”

Flight log information

Additionally, the release noted that the coordinates log showed that Johnston was at an altitude of 14,516 feet and traveling at a speed of 2.49 miles per hour when last logged.

“Ninemile Peak area has an altitude ranging from 8,800 feet to 10,000 consisting of rugged forest terrain,” according to the release, “NCSO search and rescue deployed to Ninemile and sent members to the coordinates and searched the immediate area into the early morning with no success. The area was again searched on August 28th, during daylight with no success.”

The release went on to say that the area was expanded and searched by both teams from Nye and Eureka County with no success.

“Both teams withdrew from the area to regather supplies and develop a search plan based off of prevailing winds for the time of the GPS log,” the release stated. “Civilian Air Patrol (CAP), began flying the area on August 24th, with no success. Reach Air Medical Services flew the area with a helicopter over the GPS coordinates as well, but with no success. The State of Nevada Search and Rescue coordinator has been contacted and provided additional aircraft for support. The circumstances and condition of Johnston are unknown at this time. The search is ongoing.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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