I feel awkward relaying this information because I didn't consider that some of Joe's cohorts in rescue were still unaware of the full extent of this tragedy. Despite his great compassion for animal rescue, especially in and through Arizona, he apparently didn't reserve enough of it for himself.
Here is the final NTSB report.
On March 11, 2011, at 0820 Mountain standard time, an experimental Radford RV-6, N650RV, departed Grand Canyon National Park Airport, Tusayan, Arizona, en route to an unknown destination. Since that time, the commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, has not been heard from, and the airplane, which was owned and operated by the pilot, has not been found and is presumed to have crashed. The airplane was being operated as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area around Tusayan at the time of departure. No flight plan had been filed. There was no report of a sustained emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal.
According to the Glendale, Arizona, Police Department, the pilot was involved in an argument with his wife around 0400 on the morning of March 11, 2011. Soon thereafter he was involved in a telephone conversation with an individual that the police report referred to as his girlfriend. During that phone conversation, the pilot stated that he was going to kill himself, that he had a plan in place, and that it was too late to stop him. About 0615 that morning, the pilot was seen at the Glendale Airport, and when Glendale Tower began operation at 0630, the pilot had already departed. After departure, he flew to Tusayan, Arizona, where he landed and took on 10 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel, prior to departing there at 0820. According to recorded radar tracking data, it appears that the pilot turned off his transponder about one minute after takeoff, as all radar data after 0821 was primary data with no altitude information. The primary track continued to the northwest for about nine minutes, with the last positive radar hit being at 36 degrees, 10.22 minutes North by 122 degrees, 16.36 minutes West.
A few days after the plane was reported missing, a package, which was mailed prior to the accident flight, was received by the person whom the pilot talked to by phone early on the morning of March 11, 2011. In that package was a letter within which the pilot referred to himself in the past tense.http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/brief ... MS1&akey=1
Dear sweet Joe, may you be at peace.