Rescuers Search Idaho Wilderness for Missing Private Plane Possibly Carrying CEO and His Family

PHOTO: Dale Smith, seen in this undated photo posted on the website of his company, SerialTek, ha been missing along with his family since Dec. 1, 2013 when their plane disappeared en route from Oregon to Montana.
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Rescuers are combing the Idaho wilderness by land and air today to search for a private plane believed to be carrying a Silicon Valley CEO and his family. The plane disappeared from radar over the weekend.

The search for the six-seater Beech Bonanza plane resumed this morning after previous efforts were suspended because of heavy snow and low visibility, according to the Valley County Sheriff's Office in Idaho.

"We have significant resources dedicated to this search effort," Lt. Dan Smith of the Valley County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. "We are hopeful that the break in the weather will allow us to locate the missing aircraft."

SerialTek, a San Jose, Calif., software company said its CEO, Dale Smith, was believed to have been onboard the plane, along with four of his family members.

Authorities have not released names and have said only that they believe there were a total of five people onboard the plane, which was flying from Baker City, Ore., to Butte, Mont., Sunday afternoon when the pilot, believed to be Smith, reported engine trouble.

The pilot of the early-1980s model plane lost contact with the cell tower near a remote airstrip where he had hoped to make an emergency landing, authorities said.

A weak emergency transmitter signal was picked up by a search and rescue plane one mile from the airstrip early this morning. Rescuers are now trying to home in on that signal in the hope it will lead them to the plane.

Ann Dyreng, a friend of Smith's, told ABC's San Francisco owned station KGO-TV that she flew with Smith in October and described him as a safety-conscious pilot.

"He's got an engineer brain and he's very meticulous about doing all that," she said. "He's meticulous in all the things he does. So he's a good guy."

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