Coast Guard ends search for missing Oklahoma pilot who disappeared over Gulf of Mexico

NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Coast Guard made a difficult decision Monday to end its search for a missing aircraft and pilot who disappeared while flying over the Gulf of Mexico a week ago.

Watchstanders at the Eighth Coast Guard District command center in New Orleans received a report from the North American Aerospace Defense Command on Jan. 3 stating that one person aboard a privately-owned Cirrus aircraft, with the tail number N325JK, was unresponsive.

The pilot has been identified as Bill Kinsinger, 55, from Oklahoma City.

Both air and water teams searched the area for more than 17,400 nautical square miles and almost 80 hours. The branch’s air station in Corpus Christi provided one of four teams that aided in the search.

“Ending a search is a difficult decision that we put the utmost 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.”

Questions about NORAD’s response should be directed to the NORAD public affairs main line at 719-554-6889 or after-hours line at 719-304-6097.