Single-Engine Aircraft Missing West of Wheatland
Update 7:30 p.m. Thursday - K2 Radio's Rich Denison reports the missing aircraft was found late Thursday afternoon on a rocky shelf near Laramie Peak. All four individuals aboard were found dead.
Update 4:00 p.m. Thursday - Lt. Col. Samuel House with the Wyoming Civil Air Patrol says crews are still looking near Laramie Peak for a missing Piper Saratoga aircraft carrying four passengers from Texas. A helicopter and two civil air patrol airplanes will continue patrolling the area until sundown. House says, if the missing airplane isn't found, it is likely the Air Force will launch a special mission after sundown involving aircraft equipped with infrared technology.
Update 1:40 p.m. Thursday - Albany County undersheriff Rob DeBree says current conditions near Laramie Peak are cold yet favorable for ground search and rescue members on foot and on ATV. DeBree says the civil air patrol is planning on dispatching a helicopter based at the F. E. Warren Air Force Base at around 2:00 p.m. DeBree says the ground crew will continue searching for the missing plane until sundown - an air mission will be launched shortly after sundown utilizing aircraft with special equipment.
Update 12:10 p.m. Thursday - Lt. Col. Samuel House with the Wyoming Civil Air Patrol says persisting and dangerous high winds are keeping search aircraft grounded in Powell. The air patrol does have one aircraft currently surveying the Laramie Peak area and expects Thursday afternoon to dispatch a second aircraft - a helicopter based out of the F. E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne. House says the ground crew consists of 40 search and rescue personnel affiliated with the civil air patrol, the Converse County Sheriff's Office and the Albany County Sheriff's Office.
Update 10:00 a.m. Thursday - The Wyoming Civil Air Patrol, the Converse County Sheriff’s Office and the Albany County Sheriff’s Office will continue their search Thursday near Laramie Peak. Converse County sheriff Clint Becker says ground crews from Converse County and Albany County are working together and have isolated their search near the Converse County and Albany County line. Becker believes the aircraft went down on the Albany County side of the border. Officials say extreme terrain is making search operations difficult.
Update 1:05 p.m. Wednesday - Air patrol spokesperson Maj. Jeanne Stone-Hunter confirms four people were on board the Piper Saratoga aircraft when it went missing Tuesday afternoon. Stone-Hunter says the air patrol has expanded its search area after receiving additional radar tracking information from the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and other sources. Air and ground crews will continue searching for the aircraft until sundown.
Officials with the Wyoming Civil Air Patrol say a small, single-engine aircraft has gone missing west of Wheatland.
Maj. Jeanne Stone-Hunter with the Wyoming Air Patrol says the aircraft, which was en route from Dodge City, Kan., to Casper, was reported missing to the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center on Tuesday afternoon. The aircraft originated in Texas and had stopped in Dodge City to refuel.
Stone-Hunter says officials with the Wyoming Civil Air Patrol conducted a search Tuesday night and found no positive information.
We, last night, sent one aircraft up, searching for an electronic signal since it was impossible to do a visual search in the middle of the night, and the aircraft got nothing back," Stone-Hunter said. "This morning, we sent up another aircraft, and they've been searching the area."
Stone-Hunter says there were no reports of inclement weather Tuesday afternoon or Tuesday evening.
Area authorities from Cheyenne to Casper, including officials with Converse County Sheriff’s Office and the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, are conducting a ground search in coordination with the Wyoming Civil Air Patrol's air search. Stone-Hunter says the Converse County Sheriff's Office has two ATV teams looking for the aircraft.