Pilot of missing small plane identified as 41-year-old Vancouver, Wash., man

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The pilot and sole occupant of a small plane missing on a flight through Oregon's Willamette Valley has been identified as a Vancouver, Wash., man who was bound for his hometown.

Authorities on Thursday identified the pilot as 41-year-old Lee Leslie. He was headed to Pearson Field in Vancouver.

The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) says a very weak transmitter signal was reported Thursday afternoon in the general search area between Creswell, Ore., south of Eugene, and Vancouver, Wash.

But late Thursday, CAP's Tom Traver said, "Both Lane County sheriff and CAP ground teams were unable to locate the definite source of the ELT signal and have determined it was a false lead.

"The search will continue tomorrow morning, weather allowing," he said.

The Civil Air Patrol has multiple airplanes involved in Thursday's search.

The plane took off Tuesday evening.