Six weeks ago, Pastor Bob Griggs presided over the wedding of his nephew, Andrew Lindberg, to Kate James in Farmington.
On Monday, Griggs was at the Crow Wing Composite Squad of the Civil Air Patrol at Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport, pleading for property owners' help in finding his nephew's airplane, which has been missing since Friday night.
The Civil Air Patrol is using the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport as its base of operation in the search for pilot Andrew Lindberg and his missing plane. Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey » Purchase reprints of this photo.
"Getting to know Kate and working with them in marriage planning, they're a great couple looking forward to every good thing in life," Griggs told reporters at a news conference at the airport. "Everything to live for and so much to look forward to and now we're dealing with this."
Griggs asked property owners to search their land for any sign of Lindberg's airplane.
"We keep hope that this plane will be found and found soon and we need everybody to help," he said.
Civil Air Patrol 1st Lt. George Supan spoke at a news conference Monday at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport concerning the disappearance Friday of a plane that was destined for Hallock in northern Minnesota.
Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey » Purchase reprints of this photo.
"We keep our faith and our hope that Andrew will be found and found alive. That's our prayer and our hope. People can help us make that a reality."
Lindberg was flying Friday from Lakeville to Hallock in northwest Minnesota but he never made his destination. The last known contact from Lindberg was a text message to a family member sent near Staples.
To the north and northwest of Staples is where Civil Air Patrol crews, in the air and on the ground, have been focusing their search. The air patrol is basing its search effort in Brainerd.
On Sunday, 110 members of the Civil Air Patrol in 12 aircraft and on the ground participated in the search. On Monday, 75 members of the Civil Air Patrol in 10 aircraft and on the ground continued the search.
Pastor Bob Griggs
1st Lt. George Supan of the Civil Air Patrol's Minnesota Wing said crews have searched about 3,000 square miles.
"We're hopeful we're going to find the aircraft and find Andrew," Supan said. "We will continue as long as we're needed to find Andrew and make this a successful search and rescue."
On Sunday, a new piece of equipment, the ARCHER System, was deployed to help in finding Lindberg's airplane. Civil Air Patrol Capt. Nash Herson said the system, employing two cameras and a computer in an airplane, identified things that are anomalous to the surrounding, such as metal in vegetation.
Supan also said crews continue to search for a radio signal from Lindberg's airplane, a PA-28 Piper Cherokee, and are following up on tips from the public.
Griggs described Lindberg as a capable, competent and skilled outdoorsman. He was flying to Hallock to deer hunt with his family.
"A survivor," Griggs said. "Andrew is bright, one of those people that has so many gifts. He's a farm boy, brought up on a farm outside Kennedy. He knows how to build a car basically from scratch."
Griggs said both the Lindberg and James families are struggling with Andrew's disappearance but both families remain strong and close knowing all that can be done is being done.
"We keep praying for the best outcome of this and ask everyone for their prayers and support for Andrew and Kate and their families at this very difficult time."
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
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