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Bulletin: Small plane crash site found

| June 30, 2010 11:42 AM

From Hagadone Newspaper reports:

The small plane missing since Sunday with four people on board may have been found.

According to spokeswoman Carey Cooley at 3 p.m.:

“The Border Patrol about an hour ago did find a crash site matching the airplane’s description.”

She said nobody was on the ground yet, but a rescue helicopter from Malmstrom Air Force Base is heading to the site.

Cooley said a pilot with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection spotted the crash site Wednesday afternoon after 1:30 p.m. in rough terrain just inside the Sanders County line.

The crash site is southwest of Dixon at the head of a drainage that flows north into the lower Flathead River.

There was no immediate word on survivors.

The plane that left Kalispell City Airport on Sunday was carrying four people: Inter Lake reporters Melissa Weaver and Erika Hoefer, both of Kalispell, and two Missoula men, pilot Sonny Kless and Brian Williams.

The foursome had been on a sightseeing flight that ranged north to Glacier National Park before flying along the Swan Mountain Range, across Flathead Lake and over the National Bison Range at Moiese.

The 1968 Piper Arrow, a blue-and-white single-engine plane, last was tracked by radar at about 300 feet above ground level west of the Bison Range 80 miles south of Kalispell.

It went off the radar screen at 4:02 p.m. Sunday.

Search efforts in the air, on the ground and on the lower Flathead River have been under way since Monday.