Search Continues for Missing Plane in Idaho … Those Aboard: Dale Smith and his Family, son Daniel Smith, Wife Sheree, Daughter Amber Smith & her fiance Jonathon Norton
The search continues for the missing Beech Bonanza airplane that took off Sunday, December 1, 2013, from Baker City, OR, where his family had been spending the Thanksgiving holiday, en route to Butte, MT. However, the plane disappeared over Idaho’s vast wilderness. The pilot, Dale Smith, had reported engine problems and asked air traffic controllers for coordinates to land at a nearby back-country country landing strip. Then, controllers then lost radio and radar communication with the plane. Those on board the plane have been identified as Smith’s son Daniel Smith and his wife, Sheree, along with Dale Smith’s daughter, Amber Smith and her fiance Jonathon Norton.
Authorities have finished their second day of searching for a small plane and five passengers that disappeared two days ago in the mountains of central Idaho.
Crews on the ground along with National Guard helicopters and airplanes have been scanning the remote backcountry for a Beech Bonanza piloted by Dale Smith, a 51-year-old software executive from San Jose, Calif.
Smith took off Sunday from Baker City, Ore., where his family had been spending the Thanksgiving holiday, en route to Butte, Mont. But while flying over Idaho’s vast wilderness, Smith reported engine trouble and asked air traffic controllers for coordinates to a backcountry landing strip near the tiny town of Yellow Pine, about 150 miles northeast of Boise and along the border of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. Controllers then lost radio and radar communication with the plane.
Authorities identified the others on board as Smith’s son Daniel Smith and his wife, Sheree, along with Dale Smith’s daughter, Amber Smith and her fiance Jonathon Norton.
The search for a plane that was carrying a software company president and members of his family when it disappeared from radar over Idaho was set to resume Wednesday morning after would-be rescuers were forced to suspend their efforts because of nightfall, authorities said.
Search and rescue teams detected a weak signal from an emergency locator transmitter that allowed authorities to narrow the search to the area south of Johnson Creek, near Yellow Pine, where the plane is believed to have gone down.
“We’ve done a ping on the cell phones, and we’ve narrowed it down to a 4- or 5-square-mile area that we’re searching right now,” Valley County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Dan Smith told CNN affiliate KGO.