Update: Name of pilot wanted by FAA released--Dennis Hunter

    6:50 PM, Apr 3, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- A plane has been found, but the pilot is still missing.

    An FAA official briefed on the incident told CNN that they have found the Cirrus model plant in a dirt road Tuesday night in Arkansas County, about 14 miles east of Stuttgart.

    Authorities said the pilot had run off into the woods and has yet to be located.

    The pilot is identified as Dennis Hunter of California. On Wednesday, the Saline County Sheriff's Department said that a photo of Hunter could not be released yet. He is described as a white male with long hair and is believed to be wearing sweatpants and may be barefoot.

    Investigators were able to find a sweater in the woods, leading them to believe he is still in the area.

    The flight did not originate from Arkansas.

    Events began near Benton in Saline County. Lt. Scott Courtney of the Saline County Sheriff's Office said that Homeland Security contacted his office around 5 p.m. Monday and asked that they detain the pilot and plane when it landed to refuel.

    Courtney said that when they approached the plane Tuesday night at the local airport, the pilot got back in the plane and took off.

    "[Hunter] is looking at aggravated assault charges. The only reason we were involved initially was at the request of another agency until the incident with him taking off in reference to our officers -- had that not occurred, we would not have any charges," Courtney said.

    Lt. Courtney said he doesn't know why the pilot or plane is wanted by the government. As for why he's wanted by federal authorities and how they knew he would refuel in Saline County, investigators tell THV they cannot release any more information at this time.

    Police said there is no indication that Hunter is an immediate danger to residents.

    Matthew Davis of Almyra works at the farm where the plane came down and where the manhunt began in nearby woods.

    "They just called us about 1 p.m. Told us there was a plane over here in one of our fields. That's all we really knew till later on," Davis said.

    He explained this type of event is a surprise for his community.

    "There's not many people that live around here in these parts. Mainly farm ground and woods," Davis said.

    The FAA's website indicated that the plane is a 2001 Cirrus SR22 with a fixed wing single-engine. Registration on the plane was pending for DJ Sky High, LLC. out of Rohnert Park, California.

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