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Pinedale Online > News > November 2010 > Air, ground searches still unable to locate missing plane

Turret Peak area. Photo by Fremont County Sheriff’s Department.
Turret Peak area
An aerial view of the primary search area of the Wind River Mountain Range of Northwest Wyoming. Photo courtesy Fremont County Sheriff’s Department.

Ground Search. Photo by Fremont County Sheriff’s Department.
Ground Search
Searcher Nick Czarnicki uses binoculars to search terrain in the primary search area on Friday. Photo courtesy Fremont County Sheriff’s Department.
Air, ground searches still unable to locate missing plane
Monday, November 1, 2010 Search update
by Fremont County Sheriff's Department
November 1, 2010

Monday afternoon update
Blessed with clear skies and warmer weather, ground and air search teams are putting in a full day of searching this afternoon for a missing aircraft in the rugged Wind River Range of northwest Wyoming. The missing craft disappeared from radar one week ago.

Through mid-day Monday, no physical trace of the aircraft has been found.

Searchers today concentrated their efforts in what was termed as the "area of highest probability," that area around the aircraft’s last known radar position.

"We have two teams consisting of the ‘best of the best" technical mountaineers out there today searching some of the toughest terrain," said Operations Chief Jason Aanestad. "We will keep them there as long as the helicopter crews allow us too."

Aanestad also reported that because of the clear weather today, air units are able to put in additional flight hours. Through Saturday, air teams had logged over 260 hours in the search.

Monday morning update:
Fully one week after a light airplane with four members of a Minnesota family on board went off of radar over the rugged Wind River Mountains of northwest Wyoming, search organizers today are sending two more ground teams into the field and four more aircraft.

The Incident Command staff overseeing the search and rescue mission met until late last night pouring over all search routes and data secured from the previous six days of search operations. A plan based on that review was formulated early today and the plan is now being initiated.

"Today we are going to concentrate on clearing the areas of highest probability, including an area just west of the aircraft’s last known radar contact," said Operations Chief Jason Aanestad. "We are continuing to work on pinpointing the source of an elusive emergency transponder signal (ELT) that is reverberating in the area, as well."

All previous attempts to determine the location of a presumed emergency signal with the use of highly sophisticated air and ground detection equipment has frustrated rescuers. Today, two specialized aircraft with detection equipment on board will resume the search. Both are fixed winged-aircraft, one from the Wyoming Civil Air Patrol and the second from the Park County (WY) Search and Rescue Team. In addition, two helicopters will continue searching in a grid pattern, again in the area of highest probability based on radar data.

Since initiation of the search after the aircraft disappeared from radar in a snowstorm one week ago this afternoon, numerous air and ground search efforts have been launched in an attempt to find clues to the missing plane. As of today, no physical evidence of the 1977 model Mooney aircraft has been found.

Related Links:
Still no sign of missing plane – search continues Sunday, October 31, 2010
Afternoon update in search for missing plane - Saturday, October 30, 2010
Search for missing aircraft enters 5th day - Saturday, October 30, 2010
Missing aircraft still lost in Wind River Mountains - Friday, October 29, 2010

Pinedale Online > News > November 2010 > Air, ground searches still unable to locate missing plane

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