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Search For Downed Aircraft Continues In Central Idaho Today
UPDATE: Teams have expanded their search area using projections of the possible path of the missing plane. The five planes from the Civil Air Patrol and two Idaho National Guard helicopters are being used to grid the entire search area today. This systematic approach is being used for a comprehensive search of the area.
An added capability used by the Civil Air Patrol is forward looking infrared radar. This specialized equipment, brought in from Wyoming, detects ground temperatures and can pick up anomalies, such as sunlight reflecting off metal. The number of agencies and personnel involved in the search has increased daily, with over 60 individuals in place today.
The faint emergency locator transmitter signal thought to be picked up yesterday continues to be searched for, however it cannot be verified by other aircraft searching in the same area today. The teams are expanding their search as that signal may be misleading due to the mountainous terrain and the unreliable nature of the signal.
Valley County, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) - This Wednesday morning, search crews are continuing their search for a missing aircraft in Valley county. Additional resources have 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 will concentrate their efforts in the vicinity of the Johnson Creek Airport. An incident command post is set up at that backcountry airstrip, and coordination is being led at the Valley County Emergency Operations Center in Cascade.
The additional resources bring the total to over 60 personnel. Idaho National Guard helicopters will again assist, bringing the total aircraft to seven (five Civil Air Patrol airplanes, 2 IDNG helicopters – one Lakota and one Blackhawk). Others assisting in the search include the Valley County Sheriff’s Office, US Forest Service, Idaho Fish and Game, Idaho Transportation Department, Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security, and the Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue.
“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 Lt. Dan Smith with the Valley County Sheriff’s Office. “Untrained individuals create safety concerns and detract resources from the search effort.”