Search suspended for plane missing north of Truckee

Civil Air Patrol photo of missing plane
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TRUCKEE, Calif. (KOLO) - 4/24 Update: The Civil Air Patrol tells KOLO 8 News Now the search for a missing plane has been suspended, per instruction by the Sierra County Sheriff's Office, which had asked CAP for help.

The plane has been missing since April 17 with no sign of it for almost a week of searches in the snow-covered Sierra.

“We are extremely disappointed in the outcome of this search,” said CAP Incident Commander Maj. Shane Terpstra. “We always hope for a fast resolution with missing aircraft searches, but rapidly changing weather compounded with fresh snow worked against us this entire search. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”

Volunteer groups may continue searching, but the official county search ended the night of April 23.

Stay with KOLO for updates.

Sunday afternoon update:

The California Civil Air Patrol expects to resume the search Monday northwest of Truckee for an aircraft that went missing a week earlier.

The California CAP sent out three aircraft on Sunday morning. They joined the California Highway Patrol and the California National Guard in assisting the Sierra and Nevada county sheriff offices in looking.

The Socata TB-20 Trinidad left Truckee-Tahoe Airport just before 4 p.m. Monday. It was reported missing when it did not arrive at the Petaluma Municipal Airport by Monday night.

Saturday afternoon update:

The search is expected to resume Sunday for an aircraft believed to be missing in the Sierra in either Sierra or Nevada county, the Civil Air Patrol announced.

Five CAP planes searched Saturday morning along with aircraft from California Highway Patrol and the California National Guard.

The CAP reports its aircraft have done more than 60 hours of search. As of Saturday morning, more than 110 CAP volunteers, 14 CAP aircraft and 12 CAP vehicles participated in the search for the Socata TB-20 Trinidad that left Truckee-Tahoe Airport just before 4 p.m. Monday. It was reported missing when it did not arrive at the Petaluma Municipal Airport by Monday night.

“CAP is expanding the search area and bringing in additional resources,” Maj. Steven DeFord, CAP’s operations section chief, said in a statement. “We are continuing visual and photographic searches, and with the improving weather and melting snow, we are hopeful that we will find the missing airplane.”

Friday night update:

A search for a missing aircraft in the Sierra in Sierra County northwest of Truckee yielded no new clues and searchers expect to resume the search on Saturday.

Five Civil Air Patrol planes from California and Nevada searched on Friday with the help of aircraft from both the California Highway Patrol and the California Air National Guard.

The missing Socata TB-20 Trinidad left Truckee-Tahoe Airport just before 4 p.m. Monday. When it did not arrive at the Petaluma Municipal Airport, family members reported it missing.

It has an emergency beacon, but no satellite has picked up its signal. No one has detected its low-power radio signal.

The search began Tuesday, the Civil Air Patrol said. Weather hampered the search on Thursday.

Earlier story:
The Civil Air Patrol continues to assist the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol in the search for a missing plane near the Sierra Nevada mountain range with two people on board.

The Socata TB-20 Trinidad left the Truckee-Tahoe Airport in Truckee just before 4PM April 17, 2017. Family members reported the plane overdue Monday night when it failed to arrive at its intended destination of Petaluma Municipal Airport.

The Sierra County Sheriff's Office says the passengers of the plane are reported to be pilot Brenda Richard and her husband Mark Richard.

Four CAP aircrews launched Wednesday morning to conduct visual and photographic searches of an area in the Sierra Nevada mountain range about 18 miles northwest of Truckee. A CAP Cessna Turbo 206H and three CAP Cessna 182 search planes are being used.

“We are integrating seamlessly with our local search partners, which is important given the terrain, flight environment, and congested airspace around a concentrated search area with as many as three aircraft searching at the same time,” said Capt. Charles Christian, Operations Section Chief.

Search crews say weather is favorable for the search.

“Conditions in the area are optimal for both visual and airborne photographic searches,” said Maj. Noel Luneau, who is serving as the mission’s plans section chief.

The search continued Thursday with no success.

Civil Air Patrol was activated for the search shortly after midnight Tuesday by the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. CAP’s National Radar Analysis and Cellular Forensics team narrowed the search area Tuesday morning. Weather hampered aerial operations early on, but three CAP aircrews from California and Nevada were able to fly over the search area Tuesday afternoon.

More than 40 CAP volunteers, six CAP aircraft and four CAP vehicles have participated in the search mission.

Photo of missing plane courtesy CAP
Civil Air Patrol aircrew search briefing photo courtesy CAP
Missing plane Sierra search area photo courtesy CAP

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