Missing Plane Lands Safely In Ruidoso

Ruidoso, New Mexico – ROSWELL, N.M. (KRWG) Authorities say a plane that transmitted a hijacking distress signal, prompting a land and air search southeast of Roswell, has been found.

State police Sgt. Lance Batemen says the plane landed safety at Sierra Blanca airport in Ruidoso. He says the pilot told authorities he accidentally hit the hijacking distress code while flying through a storm, then lost all power.

Bateman says about 20 state police and Chaves County officers as well as state police and Bureau of Land Management planes spent more than three hours scouring the area about 35 miles west of the Texas-New Mexico after the FAA lost contact with the plane.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the code used by pilots to signal a hijacking is just one digit different from the general distress code.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. KRWG