Authorities Find Missing Pilot And Plane
Friday, September 15, 2023

(DOWAGIAC) – Authorities say they have found a missing pilot and his plane.

Dowagiac Director Of Public Safety Steven Grinnewald says just before 4 PM Thursday, First Responders involved in the search for 82 year old Richard Martin, were notified of the location of an airplane down in a wooded area off of M-51 north of Elm Street.

First responders were guided to the area by the Michigan State Police Aviation Unit, and they found the aircraft, confirming it was a silver Sonex, with the tail number of N569SX. They also confirmed that Martin was with the plane and was dead.

Authorities are continuing the investigation into what caused Martin’s plane to crash.

Grinnewald says Martin would regularly fly his plane for one to two hours on Sunday mornings. On September 10, Martin reportedly took off from the Dowagiac Airport at 11 AM, but never returned.

Grinnewald would like to thank the following agencies for their assistance in the search and rescue efforts: Dowagiac Fire Department, Cass County Sheriff’s Office, Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office, Lawrence Township Fire Department, Michigan State Police, Civilian Air Patrol, Dowagiac Municipal Airport, Federal Aviation Administration, Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and the community members across the state that assisted by air and land.

If you have any additional information that may assist this investigation please contact the Dowagiac Police Department at 269-782-9743.