- Police say it appears no one survived the crash
- Authorities searched for more than five weeks
- After the plane went down, it gave off a faint emergency signal
- Bad weather made search efforts more difficult
After more than five weeks of searching, authorities in Idaho have found the wreckage of a plane that went missing last month. It was carrying the president of a software company and members of his family, when it disappeared from radar on December 1.
No one appears to have survived the crash, said Lt Dan Smith from the Valley County Sheriff's Office said in a statement late Friday. There was no mention of bodies found. Efforts to recover the wreckage are on hold due to severe weather.
Dale Smith had left Baker City, Oregon, with his son, his son's wife, his daughter and her fiance. Smith founded SerialTek, a San Jose, California, company that develops hardware and software data storage tools.
His wife and another daughter had stayed behind.
The Smiths were in Dale Smith's single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza en route to Butte, Montana. As they were flying over central Idaho at an altitude of 9,000 feet, the 51-year-old executive reported engine trouble and asked controllers in Salt Lake City for the coordinates of the Johnson Creek Air Strip.
They never made it.
Days after the plane went down, search and rescue teams had detected a weak signal from an emergency locator transmitter that allowed authorities to narrow the search to the area south of Johnson Creek, near Yellow Pine, where the plane was believed to have gone down.
About 40 search and rescue teams, some using ATVs and snowmobiles, combed that area.
Repeated attempts to fly into the area of the last known contact, about a mile east of the Johnson Creek Air Strip, were unsuccessful because of poor weather.