Poor weather still slowing Rainy Pass search for missing plane
Five days after Aircraft still missing near Rainy Pass overnight near Rainy Pass, no sign of either has yet been found as search crews continue attempts to reach the area despite poor weather.
David Bedard, a spokesman for the Alaska Air National Guard’s 176th Wing, said crews are still looking for the red-and-white Cessna 172 last seen leaving Farewell for Wasilla on Wednesday night. Since then, no emergency locator transmitter beacon has been detected from the plane.
Bedard said Monday’s search efforts included an HC-130 search plane and an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter launched from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.
National Park Service aircraft were trying to reach the area, Bedard said, but Alaska State Troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain said an AST helicopter was unable to reach the search area between Rainy and Simpson passes Monday.
Civil Air Patrol Maj. Bryan Emerson said conditions in the area included low cloud ceilings seen Friday, as well as winds.
"Due to weather there's nobody flying for the search today," Emerson said. "Weather certainly hasn't cooperated for the last few days."
No changes to the search area have been made over the weekend, Emerson said.
"Hopefully we're going to search that tomorrow, with the other search parties, once the weather lifts," Emerson said.
Despite the weather, Bedard emphasized that there were no immediate plans Monday for a suspension of the search.
"You never can underestimate Alaskans' ability to survive and thrive under these conditions," he said.
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