The plane's pilot was John William "Bill" Kinsinger, who was heading to Texas as part of an animal rescue charity. The missing pilot, reported by family members as Bill Kinsinger of Oklahoma City, departed Wiley Post airport (PWA) en route to Georgetown, Texas (GTU), on a humanitarian animal rescue mission for Pilots N Paws, a nonprofit organization that coordinates volunteer pilots and aircraft willing to assist animals in need.
The Coast Guard continues to search for a missing aircraft that disappeared over the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday.
The F-16s became low on fuel and were replaced by two F-15 fighters from New Orleans.
The pilot of the privately owned Cirrus SR-22 may have passed out due to a lack of oxygen and crashed in the Gulf of Mexico, investigators said.
The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a small aircraft off the coast of Freeport after its pilot stopped responding to air traffic control.
"[Kinsinger is] a trained person, health guy doing this, and one day it's just over you know", Torgerson said.
Torgerson added that the circumstances around the disappearance are perplexing, because pilots are trained extensively about how to handle hypoxia and other unsafe situations.
A spokeswoman for Integris confirmed Kinsinger is the medical director of obstetric anesthesia at Integris Baptist Medical Center and an employee of Northwest Anesthesia PC. The fighters flew in front of the plane, dropped flares and performed other military maneuvers in an effort to gain the pilot's attention, but the pilot appeared to be unresponsive, he said.
Kinsinger, 55, a volunteer with the group Pilots N Paws, was flying to Texas to pick up a disabled husky that was bound for a foster home in Oklahoma.