Search for missing Hopewell pilot suspended

Updated: 04/22/2014 6:38 PM
Created: 04/22/2014 6:48 AM WHEC.com
By: Berkeley Brean

He vanished more than two weeks ago. Since then, more than a hundred people have been looking for a local pilot from Hopewell, Ontario County.

Investigators say Theodore Weiss, who is 74-years-old, disappeared during a flight on his single engine plane in Florida. Police in Florida have suspended all ground searches, but they are continuing to search from the air. Officers say Weiss was last seen taking off from an airport in Marion County on April 5. He never made it to his destination.

Ted Weiss would keep his plane at the air-park in Hopewell when he was in New York. He lives just about a mile away from it. Friends say Weiss spent the winters in Florida. 

Jack Curran met Weiss about ten years ago. 

Jack Curran said, “Well from what I have heard and read, what's happened is not good.”

Curran says Weiss was meticulous about his planes. Another friend called him an expert mechanic. 

So they can't understand why something would go wrong. 

Curran said, “I would say if he went down, it was either a mechanical failure or a medical problem.”

Weiss is 74-years-old. Police in Florida say he was flying from Marion County back to his winter home in Zephryllis, northeast of Tampa. It is about a distance of 80 miles.  Police in Florida say radar lost contact with his plane over a state forest in the middle of his flight. 

Curran said, “That's a huge area. If they can't find a Boeing 777, it's going to be hard to find a single engine experimental in a swamp.”

The ground search in Florida is called off. The only way they're looking for Ted Weiss is through the air. 

A friend at the air-park in Hopewell told News10NBC off-camera that Ted Weiss has been flying airplanes for decades. Several people say he has two grown children.

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