COLLEGEDALE, TN (WRCB) -- Nearly two days passed from the time Clarence Andrews took off from the Collegedale Airport Sunday to when aviation officials were notified something was wrong early Tuesday morning.
Channel 3 wanted to know how this could this have happened.
"Aviation is very regulated. They say it's second to taxes," says Terry Hess. Hess is a pilot and an instructor with 20 years of flying experience. He talked to Channel 3 about aviation rules and regulations. He says private flyers like Andrews can choose to take advantage of flight plan benefits.
"That will track his progress and if it ends up not right in his destination and canceling the flight plan, within 30 minutes it will enact a search and rescue procedure," Hess explains.
However, it took nearly 36 hours for before anyone noticed Andrews was missing.
Hess says the air space around Collegedale is uncontrolled, meaning pilots have to look out for themselves and since there's no control tower they also have to communicate with each other.
"Participation is mutually done through a common traffic advisory frequency," Hess says. However, that too is not mandatory and no one but other planes in the area monitor the frequency.
It's not clear if Andrews' plane was equipped with an emergency locator transmitter, or ELT. Mark Landrum with the Tennessee Wing Civil Air Patrol says it was not required but the FAA does require most general aviation aircrafts to have one.
Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board tell us it may be awhile before they know what the transmitter recorded, if there was one.
"It's up to him with an experimental category aircraft to maintain that device," says Hess.
In the past two weeks the FAA reports there have been five fatal plane crashes across the nation involving home built planes like the one Andrews flew. However, Hess says flying is still 20 times safer than driving.
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:47 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:47:12 GMT
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