No sign of missing pilot

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, November 20, 2001

Authorities are continuing their search for a Brookhaven pilotwho has been missing since Thursday.

Benton Furlow, manager at the Brookhaven airport, said Civil AirPatrol officials from McComb had been looking for pilot Jeff Allen,46, of 2712 Nola Road, and his plane after he failed to appearFriday evening for a meeting with another pilot.

Searches Saturday, Sunday and Monday were unsuccessful.Officials thought they may have located something Monday nearBogalusa, La., but that was erroneous, said Kirby Harvey, fixedbased operator at the McComb Airport.

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“They’re going to resume the search here shortly,” Harvey saidTuesday morning.

Johnny Taylor, search coordinator for the air patrol, said theywould be in the Brookhaven area today in the air and possibly witha ground team.

“We still haven’t found anything,” Taylor said.

Furlow said Allen and Dr. Larry Stewart, a pilot from McComb,had flown in separate planes to Ocean Springs Thursday to performin a band at the Grand Casino in Biloxi. Following the performance,Stewart made it back to McComb, but Allen never reached theBrookhaven airport.

“Thursday night was the last time (Allen) was talked to,” Furlowsaid.

During the return trip Thursday night, Furlow said, Stewartradioed Allen to report alternator problems. Above the McCombairport, Stewart contacted Allen before landing but was unable toreach him again after setting his plane down.

Taylor said the pilots were on radar until about five milessouth of the McComb airport. They were not spotted again until, butTaylor said Stewart landed and the low altitude may have madeAllen’s plan undetectable.

“We don’t know whether he made it to Brookhaven of if at somepoint, he did something else,” Taylor said.

Taylor said the planes were flying around 2 a.m. Friday. Heasked the public to contact airport officials they remember hearinganything about that time.

Also, he said there are a number of hunters in the woods thistime of the year, and he asked them to keep their eyes open foranything that could help in the search.

Furlow said Stewart called him about midnight Friday to askabout Allen. The two pilots were supposed to have been togetherFriday around 5 p.m. for another trip.

“He never showed up,” Furlow said.

Furlow said Allen’s truck remains parked outside his hangar atthe airport.

“It does not appear that it has been moved,” Furlow said.

Law enforcement officials have also been involved in thecase.

Lincoln County Sheriff Lynn Boyte said Allen was out on a$50,000 bond following his arrest on an alleged drug violation.Circuit court records show Allen was indicted in March on chargesof unlawful manufacture of marijuana.

Boyte indicated there was no evidence to connect Allen’sdisappearance and the pending drug charge.

“It’s just speculation, nothing we can prove,” Boyte said.

Boyte said Allen had left a Dalmatian “Buddy,” which he caredfor greatly, at his residence. The dog was removed Sunday and takento an animal shelter, the sheriff said.

“That alone makes it look like if he was going to skip out, hewould have taken Buddy with him,” Boyte said.