Search for missing pilot at 7th dayby Matt Sepic, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Volunteer pilots and observers with the Civil Air Patrol will take to the air for a seventh day tomorrow to search for a missing Twin Cities pilot.
Eleven planes were part of the search today for Michael Bratlie, 67, of Lakeville, who took off in his twin-engine Piper Navajo on Friday and headed to Duluth. The retired airline pilot planned to return that day, but cell phone and radar signals indicate his last known location was in the Arrowhead region.
Search crews are making multiple passes over the same heavily-wooded area, said Lt. Col. Keith Bischoff with the Civil Air Patrol. Flying in different directions changes the view of the ground, he said.
"We're improving our probability of detection by covering the same area over and over and over again at different directions, with different light conditions," Bischoff said.
He asked that anyone in northeastern Minnesota who heard unusual sounds Friday afternoon or evening to call authorities.
Bratlie is an experienced pilot. He retired from Northwest Airlines in 2007 after more than 22 years.