Tuesday was the fourth day of searching the snow covered peaks of the Eastern Sierra for two people from Colorado that went missing after their plane took off from Tonopah, NV, Friday.
First Lt. Matthew Scherzi with the Civil Air Patrol reports that the plane, a motorized glider, was scheduled to arrive in Modesto Friday evening. The pilot had filed a flight plan. The first search effort started after the plane was one hour overdue.
Starting Saturday morning, Civil Air Patrol pilots began to search the mountains for any sign of the plane, but despite flying over 74 missions, so far nothing has been found.
Scherzi explained that the plane last registered on RADAR as flying east of Mammoth. Its possible that the plane might not be seen on the RADAR due to the steep and rugged terrain of the High Sierra, he says.
As a result of further investigations, the search area has been narrowed down to 2500 square miles, still a large area. Snow blankets the Sierra search area and fresh snow has fallen since the plane went missing on Friday. Complicating matters is the fact that the plane is mostly white, with some blue striping on the side which would be difficult to spot from above.
Tolga Tarhan, the Incident Commander for the search effort says that, the flight crews and base staff are putting their best efforts into locating the individuals onboard the aircraft. Our thoughts are with the family.
This search will continue.