Family of pilot missing in Gulf fundraises for private search mission


AUSTIN (KXAN) — After the Coast Guard ended its search for a missing pilot heading to Georgetown, and last seen flying unconscious over the Gulf of Mexico, the pilot’s family is fundraising for a private search mission.

Bill Kinsinger, 55, of Oklahoma City, was flying a Cirrus S22T single-engine plane from Oklahoma to Central Texas when he was seen on radar at 15,000 feet going into the Gulf of Mexico on Jan. 3. The Coast Guard reported he was likely unresponsive due to hypoxia, a lack of oxygen in the blood.

The family’s GoFundMe page has raised around $15,000 of its $100,000 goal. “I have decided the best response is to do what they wouldn’t and go out to the waters dragging a sonar to tell me what it looks like under the surface and recover his plane and give him a proper burial where he wished,” Kinsinger’s son, Jake, wrote on the page.

Kinsinger’s son says he is selling his truck and putting the money toward the search.

The Coast Guard said on Jan. 8 it was ending its search after crews searched 17,458 nautical square miles for around 79 hours.

“Ending a search is a difficult decision that we put the utmost thought and consideration into,” said Capt. David Cooper, chief of incident management, Eighth Coast Guard District. “Dr. Kinsinger was a well loved man and our hearts go out to everyone impacted during this tragic time.”

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