Additional Crews Called In To Search For Missing Plane

By KBJR News 1

June 12, 2012 Updated Jun 12, 2012 at 6:30 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- It's day five of the search for a missing plane and pilot north of Duluth and today the search efforts have expanded up the shore.

The Civil Air Patrol has called in additional crews from Wisconsin to help with the search efforts.

LeAnn Wallace has the details.

There are now 9 aircraft and about 50 people looking for 67 year old Michael Bratlie of Lakeville, Minnesota, and his twin engine piper.

Search crews spent the day in the air and on the ground looking for any sign of the missing plane.

On Monday authorities called on the public for help, asking them to report anything they might have heard or seen on Friday, the day Bratlie was reported missing.

Authorities have received a lot of information from the public and crews worked to respond to those calls Tuesday.

They're encouraging people to report any unusual sounds they might have heard Friday evening or if they have seen anything like damaged trees or bushes or pieces of what might be an aircraft.

Authorities say the Lakeville man recently put a new engine in his twin engine plane and decided to fly north to put some hours on the engine before making longer trips.

When he didn't come home, his family grew concerned and called the Federal Aviation Administration.

Authorities first surveyed parts of the Northland from air, looking to pick up the plane's emergency locater signal, but didn't find one.

Michael Bratlie is a retired Navy and Northwest Airlines Pilot who currently serves on the board of directors for a religious organization called Vernacular Video Mission International.

He had flown quite a few missions for this religious group.