Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Wed, May 30 2012 at 4:51 PM, Updated: Wed, May 30 2012 at 4:59 PM
The search for a missing Idaho pilot in Eastern Oregon has come to a tragic end.
The crash site of Tony Nicholls was located in Lake County around 3 Wednesday afternoon.
The crash site was found on the west face of Hart Mountain, about 13 miles northeast of Plush. While positive identification hasn't been made, it is believed that the body found in the wreckage is that of 48 year old Tony Nicholls.
Nicholls flew out of Lakeview last Thursday, bound for his home in Meridian, Idaho.
Klamath County Sheriff Tim Evinger notes that the search area posed several challenges...
"A lot of people who aren't familiar with the area think that it's a wide open desert, and that's not the case. It is the high desert of Oregon. It is full of table rock, it is full of granite mountains, there is still snow coverage."
The crash site was discovered by the Civil Air Patrol. A National Guard helicopter was brought in, and confirmed that the airplane was that of Tony Nicholls.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.