DOWAGIAC, Mich. (WOOD) — The public is being asked to help look for an aircraft that went missing during a planned one-hour flight in Dowagiac on Sunday.

According to the Michigan Wing Civil Air Patrol, the 83-year-old pilot, Richard Martin of Marcellus, left Dowagiac in the small, home-built aircraft around 11 a.m. Sunday. The flight was planned to last one hour but the plane never returned.

An undated photo of Richard Martin. (Courtesy Dowagiac Department of Public Safety)

The plane has a polished aluminum exterior and tail number of N569SX. Martin had built it himself, according to Dowagiac Municipal Airport Manager Oscar Azevedo. He said the plane was well-maintained and Martin “took great pride” in it, flying on a regular basis.

The Michigan Wing CAP said Martin was believed to be the only person aboard. He left his phone at the hangar in Dowagiac and the airplane has no electronics, according to CAP Incident Commander Mike Waite.

Witnesses report seeing the plane head north after take off. Weather conditions were clear. Martin was set to come back and land at Dowagiac just 45 minutes later, Waite said, but he never did.

The Michigan Wing CAP said it has crews searching the areas north and northwest of Dowagiac including Benton Harbor and South Haven. Dowagiac police are working with South Bend Airport to see if there were any radio communications or radar that could give them a lead on where he may have gone.

The Michigan Wing CAP said extended searches may include Van Buren, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, Cass, Berrien and Allegan counties.

One CAP plane was spotted by a News 8 crew taking off from Dowagiac Municipal Airport Monday. Investigators say they will fully commence airborne search efforts by 2 p.m. Tuesday due to weather conditions.