BOISE -- State transportation officials say the search for a single-engine plane with three people on board that went down in the mountains east of Donnelly has been suspended for the day due to inclement weather. The Cessna 206 took off from the McCall Airport on Wednesday morning.
Steve Grant with the Idaho Department of Transportation says an 11-person ground team went to the Goldfork trailhead at 7:30 a.m. Thursday to begin looking on foot and horseback for the plane. He says they have pretty good idea of where the plane went down based on the aircraft's emergency locator transmitter signal, but it is in a remote mountain location. However, they had to turn back because of the weather.
The missing plane is white and snow is falling in the mountains, which is creating visibility problems. The Civil Air Patrol tried to put a plane up in the air this morning but Grant says they also had to turn back because of the inclement weather.
Grant says cell phone service is not very good in that area, and that's making communications with searchers very difficult.
ITD says the plane seats six people and is owned by Wilderness Aircraft of McCall.
A pilot and two passengers were on board. The plane was headed for the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.
Col. Tim Marsano wit the Idaho Army National Guard says two helicopters, a Blackhawk and a Lakota, left Boise Thursday morning in hopes of assisting in the search. The helicopters also had to return to base because of the weather.
Grant says there has been no communication with anyone on board the plane. Temperatures overnight did drop below freezing and snow was falling in the mountains.
Weather permitting, crews plan to resume the search on Friday.