James Robert Hysong Jr.

Hysong, circa 1993

  • Missing Since 03/15/1993
  • Missing From Toledo, Ohio
  • Classification Lost/Injured Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 05/08/1972 (48)
  • Age 20 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'10, 140 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, blue eyes.

Details of Disappearance

Hysong was last seen at 10:15 a.m. on March 15, 1993, when he took off from Toledo Suburban Airport, flying a two-seater 1974 Piper Cherokee Arrow which he had rented.

Hysong is an accomplished pilot and had attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida for a year, but he did not meet the requirements for graduation. He did get some flying experience at Embry-Riddle, however, and began flying out of Toledo Suburban Airport on January of 1993.

The day of his disappearance he said he planned to fly fifty-five miles to Jackson, Michigan and take a test to become a flight instructor. Hysong did not file a flight plan for his trip.

The flight should have been routine and about twenty minutes long, but Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air logs show that, after climbing to 4,800 feet, Hysong's plane bypassed the airport in Jackson by several miles southeast.

The plane continued past the Michigan cities of Grand Rapids and Grand Haven and flew out over Lake Michigan, where it disappeared about an hour after takeoff. An extensive search that involved the use of sonar imagery turned up no signs of Hysong or the plane.

The National Transportation Safety Board could not find evidence of a crash or a reason for a crash but it nonetheless ruled that Hysong was presumed dead. The Piper Cherokee Arrow, worth $40,000, is listed on the FAA database as stolen, but not even parts of it have been found. Its tail number is N15206.

The FAA reported instances of pilots using that tail number on four occasions, either during radio checks or purchasing fuel, but nobody actually saw a plane with that tail number since Hysong's disappearance. The owner of the plane filed an insurance claim for the loss and was paid.

There are two main theories with regards to Hysong's disappearance. Many investigators believe he accidentally or intentionally crashed his plane into Lake Michigan and sank without a trace.

A private investigator employed by Hysong's parents, however, theorizes that he in fact stole the plane to sell on the black market, got mixed up with the wrong people, and met with foul play.

Hysong resided in Sylvania Township at the time of his disappearance. His parents now live in Florida but they are still searching for him and his disappearance is still being investigated by law enforcement. His case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Monroe County Sheriff's Office 740-472-1612

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated May 25, 2011; name corrected, date of birth, height and weight added, distinguishing characteristics updated.