Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport

Missing Plane Found, Pilot's Body Recovered

Jun 2, 2016
Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport

Kentucky State Police say debris spotted from a helicopter is from a plane that's been missing in western Kentucky since Monday and a body has been recovered from the plane.

Police said in a news release Wednesday night that officials have not been able to positively confirm the body is the 70-year-old missing pilot, Robert C. Dalzell Jr., but have notified the family. An autopsy was scheduled.

A news release from police said the site is in thick woods in the Fordsville community of Hancock County. The Federal Aviation Administration will be at the scene Thursday to investigate.

Police said earlier that Dalzell left the Owensboro Regional Airport on Monday morning and landed at Falls of Rough in Grayson County about 35 minutes later. The statement says he departed later from the Falls of Rough, but never returned to the Owensboro airport.

Apus Air

Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport is getting a new flight school that trains pilots for Chinese airlines.

Apus Air announced this week that it is constructing a flight training center at the airport. The project will create 35 jobs.

CEO of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation Madison Silvert says the regional airport is a perfect fit for the company’s needs. 

 “They were looking for an airport that had the right balance of runway links and amenities and low traffic so they could provide a confident environment for new trainees,” says Silvert.

The California-based company is making an investment $1.65 million in the new facility.

Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport

The Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport has received a one-million dollar grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. Airport director Bob Whitmer says they’ve actually spent the money already to expand the airport’s terminal, but will use the grant to repay a loan from the Kentucky Finance Cabinet. 

Whitmer says the million-dollar grant is unusual for smaller airports, but Owensboro-Daviess County earned the money by reaching the 10-thousand mark in "implanements" paid boardings.

“On our Allegiant Airlines and Cape Air Airlines flights, we were well-above 10,000, so we got awarded a million dollars, whereas most airports that are below 10,000 'implanements' only get $150,000.”

The grant will cover 90 percent of the terminal improvements. Whitmer says the airport is also relocating a beacon to improve visibility for income aircraft.

Work on a nearly $3 million terminal expansion and renovation at Owensboro's airport is almost complete. Airport Manager Bob Whitmer tells The Messenger-Inquirer the project will resolve overcrowding and give the terminal a modern look.