Rescue crews are still searching western Cuyama Valley for signs of 45-year-old Chris Kidd, whose plane apparently vanished somewhere in area on Saturday afternoon. A resident of the region known as Valley Acres West, near the city of Taft in Kern County, Kidd took off from a private airstrip at his residence around 9 a.m. Saturday in order to survey cattle on his family’s ranch near Cottonwood Canyon Road, west of New Cuyama. According to Sergeant Conn Abel of the Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue Team, Kidd had flown the route many times previous and is a “very experienced pilot.” Nonetheless, Kidd failed to phone his father with the results of the cattle survey. Saturday evening, Kidd’s family reported his as missing. The Kern County Sheriff’s Department and the Civil Air Patrol both conducted flights along Kidd’s route but found no trace of him or his aircraft, a white Harmon Rocket with red stripes.

Currently, the Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue Team is coordinating and conducting a search for the aircraft from a command post located on Cottonwood Canyon Road. As of the posting of this article, no searches have yielded sign of Kidd of any indication of a wreck. “It should be noted that there has not been an ‘ELT’ signal located,” Abel said in a statement before explaining that an emergency locating transmitter (ELT) is a device that emits a signal upon significant contact such as a hard landing or an accident. Furthermore, bad weather is reportedly making searches difficult.

Anyone with information about Kidd’s whereabouts is asked to call 911.


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