Missing plane: Emergency signal was a false positive

AURORA, Ore. - The Oregon Civil Air Patrol discovered the weak signal detected Thursday afternoon was a false positive in their search for a plane that went missing on Tuesday.

The family of 41-year-old pilot Lee Cheshire Leslie reported him missing to the Lane County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday. He was flying a plane that left Cresswell and was headed to Vancouver, Wash.

Leslie took off in a red and silver Piper PA-28 alone from Hobby Field in Creswell alone around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday en route to Pearson Field in Vancouver, Wash.

Leslie is 5-foot-10, 180 pounds with blue eyes and blond hair, according to the sheriff's office.

He was last seen wearing a red polo shirt and light colored pants.

The sheriff's office asks anyone who had contact with LESLIE on or after Tuesday, April 21, 2015, to call 541-682-4141.

Search for faint signal

The signal was from an ELT - an Emergency Locator Transmitter.

ELTs are designed to go off in the event of a crash. But maintenance or power issues could cause an ELT not to function, the air patrol said Thursday morning.

The very weak ELT signal was reported Thursday afternoon in the general search area between Creswell and Vancouver.

The air patrol warned that false ELT signals are frequently picked up by satellite but are still investigated.

Oregon Wing has three aircraft and 15 members involved in the search, including pilot Steve Boulton, director of Lane Aviation Academy.

The wing opened a mission operations base at its Incident Command Center near Willamette Aviation facility at Aurora State Airport, where additional aircraft, flight crews and operations staff are headquartered.

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