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Search Continues For Missing Aircraft Near Yellow Pine

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By Paul Johnson

UPDATE: Four new aircraft will be joining the search this afternoon for the airplane that has been missing since Sunday. US Customs and Border Protection has deployed one helicopter from their base in Spokane, Washington to assist in locating the missing plane. The Idaho Army National Guard is launching two Apache Helicopters with infrared capabilities at 2:00 P.M. One additional privately-held Bell 407 helicopter coordinated through the Idaho Transportation Department’s Division of Aeronautics is en route from the Sun Valley area.
Helicopters allow searchers to survey the area at a lower altitude and at slower speeds than fixed-wing aircraft. The five planes will also continue to systematically grid the area for any signs of the missing plane.
“We are extremely thankful for the support we have been getting from multiple organizations,” said Incident Commander Lt. Dan Smith with the Valley County Sheriff’s Office. “This search has been a cooperative effort from the beginning and continues to be so.”
The airplane and it’ passengers have been missing since Sunday, Dec. 1. It lost radar and cell tower contact about a mile east of the remote and rugged Johnson Creek Airstrip near Yellow Pine (50 miles northeast of Cascade).


Yellow Pine, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) - Today marks the fifth day that searchers are looking for a missing aircraft in remote Valley County. The plane went missing on Sunday.
Ground teams are focusing on drainages east of Johnson Creek airport. Aircraft are assigned to specific areas in the vicinity, and will use a grid pattern in the attempt to locate the missing aircraft.
Resources on the search today include five airplanes, with two from the Civil Air Patrol, and three coordinated from the Idaho Department of Transportation. Ground teams include a team from the Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue unit, and personnel from the Valley County Sheriff’s Office, Valley County Search and Rescue, Idaho Fish and Game, US Forest Service, family members and the Idaho Transportation Department.

“Today we have clear weather and are continuing the search using every available asset,” said Incident Commander Lt. Dan Smith with the Valley County Sheriff’s Office. “The terrain of the search area continues to be a challenge, and our thoughts are with the family of those believed to be on the plane.”
Incident commanders would like to reinforce that volunteers are not requested to assist in the search. This is due to the extreme, remote and mountainous terrain and the concern for safety of those involved in the search.


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