Authorities have been searching for missing pilot Joseph Radford since March 13. Mr. Radford is a volunteer pilot with the Pilots N Paws organization that assists in transporting rescue animals to other states. He was flying a homebuilt, single-engine RV-6 that took off March 11 from the Glendale Municipal Airport at 6:30 a.m. He flew to the Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan, where he stopped to refuel and took off again at around 8:30 a.m.
On Monday, March 13, his family notified the police he was overdue.
Another plane detected an emergency locator transmitter about 30 miles northwest of the Grand Canyon Village in a remote region of the Grand Canyon National Park. Deteriorating weather has hampered the search efforts but the National Park Service is continuing the search by plane, helicopter, and by asking backpackers in the park to keep a lookout for Radford and his plane. They were unable to pick up the distress transmission previously reported by the other plane.
Joseph Radford has for years helped pet rescue groups save unwanted pets. Radford would fly his plane to other states to pick up dogs at risk of being euthanized and would then fly the animals to Arizona where rescue groups would help find them new homes. Instead of using a crate, dogs would be harnessed in special seatbelts in his co-pilot chair.
His family and the rescue organizations he assists are understandably upset and pray for his safe return.
Animal rescue success depends on the unselfishness and dedication of volunteers; be it transporting by land or air, fostering, or visiting shelters everyday to pull animals under the threat of euthanasia. Every year there are approximately 6 to 8 million animals in the United States that find themselves alone, hungry, and homeless. And 3 to 4 million of those animals are euthanized in shelters every year.
Joseph Radford is 47 years old with blue eyes, graying hair and a receding hairline. He is 5’11” tall and weighs approximately 190 pounds. His plane is described as an RV6 Kit Built, cherry red airplane with tail number N650RV.
Anybody who has seen Radford or his aircraft since Friday at 8:30 a.m. is asked to contact the National Park Service at (928) 638-7805.
Pilots N Paws is an organization where its online forum allows rescues, shelters and fosters to hook up with pilots who own airplanes so that they can coordinate these transports.