Friday, October 31, 2014

Missing hunter found after helicopter search uses infrared imaging

PHELPS COUNTY, Mo. — A 54-year-old hunter who went missing on U.S. Forest land last week was found, injured, after a Missouri Highway Patrol helicopter used infrared imaging in a nighttime search.

According to the MSHP, on Friday, Oct. 24 at around 9:45 p.m., the patrol was requested by the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department to assist in the search for the missing hunter.

A trooper called for an MSHP helicopter equipped with a Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) thermal imaging device. The aircraft arrived just after midnight, and the MSHP reported the FLIR unit and pilots found the man within 10 minutes by spotting his disposable lighter through the infrared imaging. Troopers manning the helicopter then guided searching officers to the hunter’s location, where they discovered he had injured his ankle. He was extracted and taken to treatment.

According to the MSHP website, the patrol's aircraft fleet currently consists of four helicopters, eight single-engine Cessna, and two Beechcraft King Air.

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