VALLEY COUNTY, Idaho -- Family members of those aboard a plane missing in the Idaho wilderness continued their search by foot and air Tuesday.
Lt. Dan Smith with the Valley County Sheriff’s office told KTVB Tuesday that his deputies are still following up on leads, however their search for the plane is scaled back.
The sheriff’s office decided to scale back that search Friday for the missing Beechcraft Bonanza because of no new information, complications with weather and going over budget on the search.
The plane with five people onboard went missing on the afternoon of Dec. 1. It was on its way from Baker City, Oregon to Butte, Montana. The plane is registered to the pilot, Dale Smith, who lives in San Jose, Calif.
A family member said searchers looked south of the Johnson Creek airstrip, as well as a nine square-mile area above the Stibnite Mine in Valley County.
However, Alan Noble, the uncle to Jonathon Norton, who was also on the plane, said weather is really hampering the search.
“You have got more snow coming and the slightest snowfall can hide the existence of this crash site,” explained Noble.
The search team used one fixed-wing plane as well as a helicopter to look from the air, while 10 individuals searched by ground.
Noble spoke on behalf of the Norton family Tuesday by phone on his way back to Salt Lake City, saying his family realizes that finding survivors is probably not going to happen at this point.
However, they will still use satellite images of the area to look for anything out of the ordinary that could lead them to a clue.
“Hopefully we can find a crash site and find out where our loved ones are,” said Noble.
Noble said the Smith family was the only crew still searching in Valley County, but he, as well as others, hopes that skiers, hunters and hikers who travel into the backcountry will look for the crash site.