Search for Missing Plane Continues
Yakima, WA - Air and ground searchers have spent the day combing a rugged area of the Central Washington Cascades for a missing plane that carried nine skydivers and a pilot.
A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman says the Cessna 208 Grand Caravan left Star, Idaho, near Boise, on Sunday evening en route to Shelton, WA, northwest of Olympia.
The plane was returning from a skydiving meet in Idaho when it disappeared.
Wayne Frudd of Yakima County Search and Rescue says, in his words, "Unfortunately, we have not turned up a plane. That's hard on the families and those of us who are searching."
Frudd says the search terrain is steep, rocky, and heavy forested.
The co-owner of the skydiving company Skydive Snohomish says that nine of the ten people aboard the plane were either employers of her business or else licensed skydivers who considered Snohomish their "home drop zone."
Skydive Snohomish operates a training school and offers skydiving flights at Harvey Field in Snohomish County.
The co-owner, Elaine Harvey, says her company had nothing to do with this flight to Idaho but adds that those aboard are "beloved friends."
Many relatives of those aboard the plane have gathered at White Pass in the Cascades.
One man who did not identify himself says his 30-year-old son was aboard the plane and that father adds, in his words, "He worked hard and he played hard - we just want to find him."
Nisha Marvel of the Washington Department of Transportation says the search area has been narrowed to southwest of Rimrock Lake, about 45 miles west of Yakima, due radar information and the report of a hunter who said he saw a plane and heard a crash Sunday night.
The Transportation Department is coordinating the air search, while Yakima County Search and Rescue is coordinating the ground search.
Officials say the plane's emergency locator was not activated.
The plane is registered to Kapowsin Air Sports of Shelton, south of Seattle near Olympia.