Search for Missing San Jose-based Plane in Idaho

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A search is underway in a mountainous section of Idaho for a single-engine plane carrying five family members that went missing Sunday afternoon.

The plane is owned by San Jose-based pilot Dale Smith.

The missing aircraft is believed to be carrying five passengers on a Thanksgiving trip when the plane lost radio contact near the Idaho town of Yellow Pine, according to authorities.

“All I can tell you at this point is that we have an Alert Notice out for an aircraft in that area and cannot confirm a crash until a plane or wreckage is found,” said FAA Spokesperson Allen Kenitzer.

The alert is for a Beech 36 Bonanza, N36ML, with 5 people onboard, according to Kenitzer.

The pilot had reported engine trouble to air traffic controllers in Salt Lake City before the plane disappeared.

The family was flying from Baker City, Oregon to Butte, Montana.

Authorities used the pilot’s cell phone signal to narrow the search to a two- to- four-square-mile area in the mountains, said Lt. Dan Smith of the Valley County Sheriff’s Office in Cascade.

The Idaho Army National Guard is searching with two helicopters. Deputies and rescue workers also joined the search in mixed rain, snow and fairly high winds, said Smith.

(Copyright 2013, KRON 4, All rights reserved. CNN contributed to this report.)

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