NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard has ended the search for the missing pilot and Cirrus aircraft out of Oklahoma City that was last seen over the Gulf of Mexico.
The Coast Guard searched 17,458 nautical square miles for approximately 79 hours for Bill Kinsinger, 55, of Oklahoma City who was on his way to Texas to help rescue a dog. The many hours Kinsinger logged saving pets was his way of paying tribute to his brother who had passed away.
“Ending a search is a difficult decision that we put the upmost thought and consideration into,” said Capt. David Cooper, chief of incident management, Eighth Coast Guard District. “Dr. Kinsinger was a well loved man and our hearts go out to everyone impacted during this tragic time.”
Involved in search were Coast Guard aircrews from:
-Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas
-Air Station Clearwater, Florida
-Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina
-Aviation Training Center Mobile, Alabama
The motor vessel Gas Wisdom responded to a Coast Guard request for vessels in the area to assist and searched Wednesday evening. The Mexican Naval Secretariat had two ships, the ARM Demacrato and the ARM Guanajuato, involved in the search.
Flying and animals were Kinsinger's biggest passions. His mother told 2 Works for You that he began working with Pilots and Paws about three years ago.
He was a skilled flier who was dedicated to his cause.
Kinsinger's plan at the time of the disappearance was to fly dogs in need to Denver. He took off from Wiley Post Airport and then veered off course into the Gulf.
"Bill decided if he took up flying he would start to do this in Tim's name, to honor Tim," Kinsinger's mom said. "So twice a week he picked up dogs and took them all over this part of the country."
Kinsinger's mom says the family believes the Cirrus SR-22 ran out of fuel about 200 miles from Cancun in the Gulf.
"He was such a good pilot and he was so careful about what he did," she added. "He loved what he was doing, it was a passion for him. So after so long I stopped worrying. I wasn't even thinking about it anymore."
Kinsinger's loved ones hope other pilots pick up where he left off.
"I hope it opens people's eyes to the need for homeless animals to have real homes and not be left out in the cold," Kinsinger's mom said. "I shudder to think of all the animals out in the frigid days we're having where they don't have shelter that they need."
It's unclear at this point in the investigation whether Kinsinger fell asleep for some reason or if he was flying at too high of an altitude to .
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