LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

VALLEY COUNTY -- It has been almost three weeks since a plane went missing. On board was a father, his children, and their significant others. They lost radar contact near Yellow Pine, but their families are holding out hope that the five will be found.

Originally when we found out the plane went missing, it's just kind of a little bit of a state of shock, said Brad Norton, who's nephew Jonathan Norton was on the plane. You have all sorts of things that run through your head and the first thing that I think ran through everybody's head was, 'OK let's get up there and find them.'

Members of the Smith and Norton families came to Cascade to search for their loved ones. Even with experienced volunteers and members of the Valley County Sheriff's Office, they didn't find anything. Still, the families tried to stay positive.

Planes go down like that all the time and you hear stories where they're able to walk away all the time, said Norton.

The ground and air search has been scaled back. Now they're calling on people behind their computer screens to help. Satellite images from shortly after the last contact with the plane are uploaded on a site called Tomnod.

To be able to have satellite images that have been taken shortly after the plane went missing makes it a lot easier to find places to allocate the time and resources of those participating in the search, said Norton.

You can go to the Tomnod site and look at images of the area on a grid. You can also drop markers for different things like roads, wreckage or hikers. The families are hoping you'll see something they haven't that can lead them to their family.

The main thing that those have done, I think for me and for others is given some ray of hope into finding the whereabouts of the plane and the passengers, Norton said.

Read or Share this story: http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/local/2014/07/02/12062939/