Family Hope For Closure Of Missing 1964 Aviator

By: Stewart Campbell Email
By: Stewart Campbell Email

With the search for missing adventurer Steve Fossett revealing missing planes dating back to the World War Two, it has stirred hopes for one family that they might actually find out what happened to their missing aviator father.

For 43 years, Dr. William Olge, has questioned what happend to his father.

Charles Olge, an experienced pilot who trained as an aviator in the U.S Marine's, took off from Oakland, bound for Reno in the summer of 1964, in his Cessna 210.

He was never heard from again.

The massive hunt for Fossett now may help resolve the enduring mystery surrounding Charles Ogle, then 41.

The search for Fossett has covered some 17,000-square-miles of the Sierra Nevada and has revealed the wreckage of eight other small planes that had never, until now, been discovered.

Each of these crash sites could hold vital clues as to the fate of Charles Olge.

None of the crash sights have been properly investigated apart from to confirm that it is not Fossett's.

Dr. William Olge, who was aged 4 at the time his father went missing is hopful that when crews return to these newly found sites and have the chance to examine them for clues, they may yield the answers that he and other relatives have sought since 1964.

When Charles Olge was not heard from all those years ago, the Western Air Rescue Center at the now-defunct Hamilton Air Force Base in Novato searched for only 60 hours before giving up.

There was never a funeral or memorial for Charles Ogle, so the closure provided, if one of those Nevada wrecks is his, would be welcome.

"When all is said and done, they'll send ground crews in to thoroughly investigate what is left," Civil Air Patrol Maj. Cynthia Ryan said of the old crashes.

Eventually, some of the old crashes should be linked to long-missing aviators, Ryan said. Even small pieces of wreckage can contain a serial number that can be tracked back to the manufacturer and the owner of the plane.

Nevada's forbidding backcountry is a graveyard for small airplanes and their pilots.

Ryan figures more than 100 planes have disappeared in the past 50 years in the state's mountain ranges, which are carved with steep ravines and covered with sagebrush and pinon pine trees.

More than a dozen aircraft were scanning the terrain Wednesday for any sign of Fossett, who took off Sept. 3 from a private airstrip about 80 miles southeast of Reno, along with thousands of volunteers around the world who are poring over online satellite imagery.

Searchers have spent 10 fruitless days scanning for signs of the single-engine Bellanca Citabria Super Decathlon that Fossett took up to look for a dry lake bed suitable for a planned attempt to set a land speed record.


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