Search for Missing Plane & Pilot Concludes: Aircraft Wreckage Found Near Humpback Mountain

The search for a missing pilot concluded Monday, May 20 after the discovery of aircraft wreckage near Humpback Mountain, just west of Snoqualmie Pass. Ground search crews discovered the crash site around 1:30 p.m. The plane’s 69-year-old pilot, Jerry Riedinger was found deceased inside the plane located in a heavily forested area of the mountain.

Riedinger left the Arlington Municipal Airport Sunday at 4:30 p.m. His wife reported him missing around 6 p.m., after he did not arrive at his destination in Ephrata.

Search crews, coordinated by Washington State Department of Transportation Air Search and Rescue, focused on the area near Humpback Mountain off Interstate 90 based on cell phone and flight data. Search and rescue groups combed the area extensively by air and on the ground. The Riedinger family has been notified of today’s findings.

A friend writes this about Jerry:

“Jerry was known by everyone as a humble and conscientious aviator. He was an inspiration to many in his sport of passion: aerobatics. Jerry flew in the upper levels of competition, served as an aerobatic judge, was a frequent contest director, served on the IAC’s government relations team and mentored many. Jerry was also a prolific philanthropist who donated widely to aerobatic causes.

Jerry has many friends who will remember him for a long time for his positive and pragmatic approach to problem solving. He traded in dry, witty, astute observations always delivered with a little twinkle in his eye.

Professionally, Jerry was an experienced intellectual property lawyer. But to everyone who knew Jerry outside of work, Jerry was a pilot’s pilot. An aviator of the highest caliber and distinction.”

On behalf of the search and rescue team, WSDOT offers their sincere condolences to the entire Riedinger family. WSDOT is thankful for those who provided their time or expertise during the search mission. Over 220 people assisted in the search efforts from Sunday and Monday, May 19-20. Agencies who assisted in the search include King County Search and Rescue, King County Sheriff’s Office, Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office, Kittitas County Search and Rescue, Seattle Mountain Rescue, Washington Air Search and Rescue, Snoqualmie Pass Ski Patrol Rescue, King County Explorer Search and Rescue, Pierce County Explorer Search and Rescue and WSDOT personnel.

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