Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Valley County Search Intensifies For Missing Aircraft

Posted By on Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 10:01 AM

As this morning's daylight creeped up over the horizon, an intensive search for a missing aircraft resume in Valley County.

Five people were believed to be on board a BE-36 Beech Bonanza plane when it was reported missing. The plane took off from Baker City, Ore., at 11 a.m. on Dec. 1 and went off the the radar about an hour later near Yellow Pine, just northwest of Cascade in Idaho's Valley County. The plane was bound for Butte, Mont.

Approximately 60 rescuers have been searching for the plane. The rescue effort has included five airplanes and two helicopters. Officials announced this morning that additional resources had been brought in to assist with the search, including three more fixed-wing aircraft from the Civil Air Patrol and 18 members of the Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue unit.

Teams are concentrating today's efforts in the vicinity of the Johnson Creek Airport. An incident command post has been set up at that backcountry airstrip, and coordination is being led at the Valley County Emergency Operations Center in Cascade.

"With the additional resources, rugged terrain and difficult weather conditions, we are encouraging citizens not to attempt to volunteer to help with the search," said Incident Commander Lieutenant Dan Smith the Valley County Sheriff's Office. "Untrained individuals create safety concerns and detract resources from the search effort."

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