Coast Guard ends search for missing pilot over Gulf of Mexico

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USGS says they have ended the search for a missing Oklahoma City pilot in the Gulf of Mexico. (KTRK)

The U.S. Coast Guard said it is calling off its search for a missing pilot who vanished over the Gulf of Mexico last week.

After searching for 79 hours and 17,458 nautical square miles, the Coast Guard said it would suspend its search for Bill Kinsinger, 55, and his missing Cirrus aircraft.

Last Wednesday, Kinsinger took off from Wiley Post Airport in Oklahoma City, with a plan to land in Georgetown, Texas.

When the plane failed to land, air traffic controllers attempted to reach Kinsinger who never responded.

"Ending a search is a difficult decision that we put the upmost 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."

Investigators said the plane continued on the same course, and was last observed on radar about 219 miles northwest of Cancun at 15,000 feet.

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The U.S. Coast Guard said the pilot's last known whereabouts were just off the coast of Freeport.

Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans launched aircraft to investigate over the Gulf of Mexico and reported the pilot was slouched over and appeared unconscious.

The pilot is believed to have suffered from hypoxia, a lack of oxygen.

The Coast Guard said four aircrews from Corpus Christi; Clearwater, Florida; Elizabeth City, North Carolina; and Mobile, Alabama were involved in the search.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Coast Guard searching for missing plane near Freeport
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The search is on for a missing pilot in Freeport, the Coast Guard says.

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missing personcoast guardsearchLouisianaFreeportOklahoma
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