Search for missing plane suspended

BOISE, Idaho - Air and ground teams have suspended their search for the plane carrying two Brigham Young University-Idaho students that lost contact near Yellow Pine.

"We reluctantly suspended the search because of worsening conditions and concern for the safety of our search teams," said Mike Pape, administrator of the Idaho Transportation Department's Division of Aeronautics, in a news release.

The plane, a 1980s-model, six-seat BE-36 Beech Bonanza, left the Baker City, Ore., airport bound for Butte, Mont., on Dec. 1. Its last-known position was on the western edge of the rugged Sawtooth Mountains a few hours later.

The pilot, Dale Smith, his son Daniel and Daniel's wife, Sheree, were on board along with two BYU-Idaho students, the pilot's daughter Amber Smith and her fiance Jonathan Norton.

You can still help in the search online at A satellite search has been set up on the website. It allows you to look for clues like traces of campsites, avalanches – even people and plane wrecks.

"We are prepared to resume the search if there is specific, credible information about the plane's location," said Pape. "Our decision to suspend the formal search was not easy to make and came only after all of our other options had diminished. Our hearts go out to family members and friends as they await word about their love ones."

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