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Search for missing plane -- experienced only!

Posted: Dec 03 2006 10:09 am
by zihuat
I am assisting in the search for my niece, Marcy Randolph, who disappeared in a small plane over n.central Arizona (near Sedona) on 9/24/06. Hoping to find/direct hikers willing to go into search areas where visibilty from air is hampered by treecover & terrain (like upper Sycamore Canyon, Volunteer Canyon, Little LO Spring Canyon, etc.).

CAUTION! These are extremely rugged and remote areas -- Please do not go if you lack proper equipment and skills!

More details, and contact info, are available at
A Google Earth "placemarks" file, showing the search areas and relevant documents is also available at:

Re: Missing Cesna

Posted: Dec 05 2006 11:32 pm
by zihuat
In response to Vaporman's reply: Thanks Vaporman...
After I posted that, I checked this site and found photos from a Clear Creek hike taken the SAME DAY the plane vanished!
I sent a message asking if he saw anything; seems like a plane buzzing the canyon would have gotten his attention.

Which brings me to the other reason for my massive Google Earth archive map: collecting "been there" data. Knowing (remote) places where people have been on or after 9/24, allows us to move on to more likely spots when planning new searches. Obviously, GPS coordinates are highly desirable. Our map is littered with plots from the crazies at, and I'm hoping to harvest some more plots here, but it's not as easy. I need to learn the site. Any suggestions or help you can offer would be great.

Re: Missing Cesna

Posted: Dec 06 2006 5:20 am
by Vaporman
Somethings that might help: Not sure if you noticed, but every trail has the GPS coordinates of the TH if you click one of the links in the 'Area Mapping' section on the right. Also all the hikes are grouped by regions & wildernesses, like that West Clear Creek Wilderness has like a dozen different 'trails' that people may have posted under.

It'd be cool to see some sort of rough map with markings as to where many people have trafficed. All those areas up there are very sweet and it won't take much to get me to go back and explore them, when the temps go back up again. These areas are on my list for next year even before I heard about the downed plane: Secret Canyon, Loy Canyon, Secret Mountain, Woods Canyon, West Clear Creek between Calloway TH and WCC #17, Sycamore canyon from Verde river to Taylor cabin, & Wet Beaver Creek.

Re: Missing Cesna

Posted: Dec 06 2006 7:29 am
by zihuat
In response to Vaporman's reply:
Very cool. I hadn't seen those (T.Head coords) yet. That will be very useful.

If there are any HAZ folks reading this who are Google Earth savvy (the applet is free), they can help by plotting their path and/or waypoints, along with the date (or ref/link to the info on the HAZ site), and then send me their G.Earth "placemark" folder ( Again, anything on or after 9/24/06 is helpful.

Our search map has some info like this already -- many plots even link to photos stored on our server or on the website. As we get more "been there" data we can really close in on the unvisited areas ... and photos help us see where forestation might hamper discovery.

Re: Missing Cesna

Posted: Dec 07 2006 3:26 pm
by wallyfrack
One other site you may try is the group at I put in the Sedona zip code 86336 and there are several caches located in the surrounding area. The members log all their trips and all carry GPS units.

Posted: Dec 07 2006 6:17 pm
by zihuat
Yah, interesting bunch, those geocachers. I've been mining their data since the first week of the search. If you check our Google Earth searchmap ( -- grab the "MARSI" file) you'll see it's littered with remote geocache plots. Their GPS coords and photos are extremely useful, and some of those folks have even sent me GPS tracks of their forays.

I'd hoped to get a response like that from HAZ, but the October post didn't generate much interest. Maybe now that winter has set in, and the hikers are gathered 'round the hearth, they'll think about us...

Posted: Dec 07 2006 7:20 pm
zihuat wrote: I'd hoped to get a response like that from HAZ, but the October post didn't generate much interest. Maybe now that winter has set in, and the hikers are gathered 'round the hearth, they'll think about us...
Post this over on and on for a little more exposure. You may get some drummed up interests and the extra exposure won't hurt either.


Posted: Dec 08 2006 5:13 am
by Vaporman
zihuat wrote:I'd hoped to get a response like that from HAZ, but the October post didn't generate much interest. Maybe now that winter has set in, and the hikers are gathered 'round the hearth, they'll think about us...
I think you hit the nail on the head for me. The hikes I'm doing these days are in my backyard, so to speak, and don't require camping or much planning. So I have more time at home to edit photos, watch movies, and surf the internet. :D

Re: Search for missing plane -- experienced only!

Posted: Jan 08 2007 3:39 pm
by woodstrider
In response to cabel's reply: If you are still looking, drop me a line, maybe I could help. Woodstrider

Posted: Jan 08 2007 6:13 pm
by zihuat
Absolutely, we are still looking and will continue to do so for as long as it takes to bring Marcy home to her folks.

We recently got an aerial photograph of what might be wreckage down in some trees in very rugged terrain. There are no known previous wrecks in this location and Civil Air Patrol did not note this debris during their search.

The photographer claims the camera was pointed at an area on the NW corner of Black Mountain(overlooking Sycamore Pass and across from Casner Mtn, approx. N34deg 54' 54" W112deg 0' 7" ).

We'd love to have someone get up there on the ground and see what this debri is. If you're interested, let me know and I'll send you the photo.

Posted: Jan 09 2007 9:53 am
by wetbeaverlover
In response to zihuat's reply: I have been to the stone quarry camps on black mountian, lots of debris scattered around. Is the debris in the photo on top of the mountain or on the sides. I dont live very far away from if you send the pic to my private message box, i will look and maybe me and my sons will take horses and go have a look

Posted: Jan 09 2007 12:47 pm
by zihuat
The debris is farther west of the quarry -- after the road/trail gives out -- and below the rim.
Looking down (i.e., from Google Earth) the area looks like a bird's head sticking out from the NW corner of Black Mtn, overlooking Sycamore Pass. I'll have to PM you a reduced (800x600) photo of the debris due to website filesize limits. If you (or anyone else on HAZ) wants to view the full size image you can find it here:

Posted: Jan 09 2007 6:56 pm
by zihuat
FYI, the debris is west of the Black Mtn quarry and not part of that trash.
For a full size image of it go to:

Posted: Jan 10 2007 3:58 pm
by Vaporman
That photo is kinna eerie, I've always been weary of those small planes. Any luck with getting someone to go up and check that area out?

Posted: Jan 10 2007 6:55 pm
by zihuat
Yeah, eerie is right. Wreckchaser is talking about checking it out.
Small planes are fine if you use procedures appropriate to the terrain, altitude, and weather. It's all about judgment. As a pilot myself, with an instrument rating, I would not do some of the things I've heard N2700Q's pilot was fond of doing. "Zooming canyons" in AZ is a recipe for disaster.

Anything over 2,500ft MSL is technically "high altitude" and that means most of central & N. AZ. Besides the density altitude challenge, you've also got some wicked air convergences (i.e., out of Sycamore and off the Mogollan Rim) that can ambush the cocky or unprepared pilot. You can't see air.

Posted: Jan 29 2007 3:57 pm
by wetbeaverlover
Z...we went and spent a day glassing the sides with spotting scopes from different vantage points and another day riding the rims and walking..its a very hard search due to snow patches in the shaded areas. we found lots of debris but no plane. its a HUGE area. and would take lots of people or a plane to search effectively. Dan

Posted: Jan 29 2007 4:14 pm
by Nighthiker
Was looking at topo maps of the area, rugged country. Been thinking of a camping trip in the are of the Upper Verde Valley. Posted a notice at work, RimRock Fire looking for a paramedic/firefighter.