Search for student pilot halted Civil Air Patrol authorities suspend search for women, 30, after 10, days.

October 15, 1991|By Alisa Samuels | Alisa Samuels,Evening Sun Staff

As stated in a headline in Tuesday's Evening Sun, authorities have suspended the search for Rosa Maria Tames Gonsalez, 30, of Annapolis, a student pilot who disappeared during a training flight on Oct. 4.

An outdated story reporting that the search was continuing erroneously appeared under that headline.

2& The Evening Sun regrets the error.

Authorities have spent more than 500 hours and searched 6,500 square miles trying to find a 30-year-old student pilot and the plane in which she disappeared two weeks ago over the Eastern Shore or Chesapeake Bay.

"We have almost no idea what could have happened to her," said Maj. Mitzi Parks, a spokeswoman for the local Civil Air Patrol. "We're still looking."


The search for Annapolis resident Rosa Maria Tames Gonsalez was continuing today, Parks said.

During the last two weeks, Parks said, authorities have investigated more than 100 citizens' tips of a downed-plane.

Word of a fallen plane near the Patuxent River on Oct. 4, the same day Gonsalez vanished, caused the Coast Guard to search waters off Cove Point. But that lead and others have so far come up empty, investigators said.

At about 1 p.m. on Oct. 4, Gonsalez, whom friends described as a good student pilot, began her flight from Lee Airport in Edgewater, heading toward the Bay Bridge Airport on Kent Island and then to Summit Airport in Delaware. She planned to fly her Piper Cherokee to Easton Airport and back to the Lee airfield, south of Annapolis, investigators said.

Investigators believe the plane went down on the return trip. When Gonsalez was near the Delaware border, near Millington, radar lost track of her plane.

The Civil Air Patrol, a civilian auxiliary of the Air Force, has flown 200 sorties during the search, Parks said. At any time, between 18 and 25 planes have been involved in the search, Parks said.

The patrol has called on the Maryland State Police, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and Maryland Natural Resources Police to assist in the air, ground and water searches, Parks said. Authorities in Delaware, Virginia and Washington, D.C., have also been contacted.

"This is fairly rare," Parks said, "needing this length of time to search for a plane."

Gonsalez, a native of Spain who has lived in Annapolis for a couple of months, had completed 40 hours of flying time before her disappearance, and was trying to gain her private pilot's license, Parks said. Her family lives in Spain.

Friends said "she's a wonderful person," Parks said. "One of the nicest and sweetest persons there is."

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