Missing 'copter pilot identified

"They called Gallatin," he said. "but we weren’t called in until about 11:30 this morning (Monday)."

Ashe also said the helicopter was quite small.

"It is about half the size of a news copter and black in color," he said.

He added that his department and (WEMA) had personnel on the ground searching and that there were several helicopters in the air on Monday.

Jewell said Nashville Metro officers and Army Corp of Engineers employees were assisting in the search as well, by Tuesday.

By Tuesday morning divers had been added to the crews to search the river.

Then late in the day about 3 p.m. Ashe pulled his crews off the search when debris was located.

But by Tuesday afternoon the helicopter was still missing as was the pilot, however, searchers had basically ruled out the wooded areas near the river after an all-day search.

"Searchers found some floating debris in the water," Jewell said. "We’ve narrowed the search down to the river about a mile to three-fourths of a mile above the Highway 109 bridge."

But Ashe noted that if the helicopter went down in the river west of Highway 109, where it was last reported, the water is very deep in that location, 55 to 60 feet, and quite murky.

He said that U.S. Department of Homeland Security personnel were trying to locate the missing aircraft, too.

The helicopter was owned by Noble Aviation of Lebanon. Officials with the company had no comment.