Missing Oklahoma pilot made trips to Lincoln saving dogs

Bill Kinsinger made many trips to Lincoln over the years.

His passengers? Rescued animals.

The dedicated animal rescue pilot from Oklahoma tragically died earlier this month when his plane disappeared.

"He just had such a generous spirit. He was the most compassionate, kind, giving and caring man. He would take the animals off his flight and he would give each one a hug and a kiss and say this is the start of your journey, you’re going to have a great life," said Kerri Kelly, director of Dolly’s Legacy Dog Rescue.

Kinsinger’s aircraft was last observed on radar about 219 miles northwest of Cancun at 15,000 feet near the Gulf of Mexico.

He nor the plane were ever found and the search was called off earlier this week.

Kinsinger worked with dolly’s legacy animal rescue in Lincoln over the past few years, delivering upwards of 150 animals.

"Bill and I met through pilots and paws, an organization that connects pilots who donate their time to fly rescue animals, most often from kill shelters to the safety of rescue groups or forever homes," said Kerri Kelly.

"Dolly’s legacy has been taking a lot of dogs out of kill shelters in southern Oklahoma and he’s based out of Oklahoma City."

Kinsinger had been involved in about 20,000 deliveries during the past 25 years.

Kerri said Bill was making trips to the Lincoln area every three weeks or so.

Her last encounter with him was last month.

"Just before Christmas he flew several animals to us and I handed him a Christmas gift and he said you don’t need to do that and I said you do so much to help us, I really want to show a token of my appreciation. It was a Nebraska hat and a pullover and I said I’m going to make a Cornhusker out of you yet Bill. I had no idea that would be the last time I would see him," said Kerri Kelly.

Experts believe Kinsinger likely suffered from Hypoxia while behind the controls. Hypoxia is a condition in which the body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply, usually occurring at high altitudes.