Plane missing in Idaho wilderness for more than a month found

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by KTVB

KREM.com

Posted on January 11, 2014 at 10:53 AM

BOISE -- The Valley County Sheriff's Office says they have found the plane carrying five people that went missing in December.

They say it appears none of those on board survived the crash.

Lieutenant Dan Smith with the Valley County Sheriff's Office tells KTVB that the plane was found in some thick trees just east of the Johnson Creek airstrip near Yellow Pine, Idaho.

Smith says the recovery of the plane will start sometime this weekend, and the National Transportation Safety Board will be called in to help retrieve the wreckage off the mountain. However, due to a storm moving in, the recovery efforts might be delayed. 

"It's in pieces. It's not a whole plane," Janis Smith, wife of the pilot, told NBC Bay Area on Friday night. "They have not found the tail wing, but to have closure and to know that it all went very, very fast."

Back on December 1, the pilot, Dale Smith, lost radar contact with air traffic controllers and last reported en route for the Johnson Creek airstrip.

The plane had taken off from Baker City, Ore. and was bound for Butte, Mont.

Along with Dale Smith, his son, Daniel Smith, his daughter-in-law Sheree Smith, his daughter Amber Smith, and her fiance Jonathan Norton were also on the plane.

The state officially called off the search back on December 12, and that's when volunteers stepped in to continue the search.

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