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Search Crews Pick Up Weak Emergency Locator Signal While Searching For Downed Plane


By Paul Johnson

Yellow Pine, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) - Crews searching for a missing plane in central Idaho have picked up a weak emergency locator signal. Significant improvements in the weather have allowed the search for the plane missing near the Johnson Creek airstrip south of Yellow Pine, Idaho. A weak emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal was picked up approximately 1 mile south of the airstrip late Tuesday morning by one of the search aircraft. Search and rescue personnel are currently attempting to hone in on that signal.
The Valley County Sheriff's Office is coordinating the search with assistance from the Idaho Transportation Department, Civil Air Patrol, Army National Guard, United State Forest Service, Idaho Fish and Game, the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security, as well as other volunteers and members of the family. Approximately 40 personnel, including ground and air resources, are currently aiding in the search efforts.
The early 1980s-model, white-and-maroon, 6-seat, BE-36 Beech Bonanza departed Baker City, Ore., after 11 a.m. (PST) Sunday, bound for the Burt Mooney airport in Butte, Mont. The plane reportedly carried five individuals. It lost radar and cell tower contact near Johnson Creek airstrip about 50 miles northeast of Cascade, shortly after 1 p.m. (MST).
A flight restriction has been issued for all airplanes in the area from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Aircraft, other than those directly involved in the search, are restricted from flying below 10,500 feet above sea level, which is about 1,000 feet above mountain peaks in the area. This will keep the search-area canopy clear to search.

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