April 20, 1997 in Nation/World

Bad Weather Slows Search For Plane

Compiled From Wire Services

The Colorado high country’s notoriously fickle weather hampered searchers again Saturday as they looked for a missing Air Force warplane loaded with bombs.

Planes, including some from the Utah Civil Air Patrol, went out in the morning, but strong wind and snowstorms kept them grounded in the afternoon. Residents helping with the search made it out on cross country skis, snowmachines and snowshoes.

The changing weather, particularly warmer temperatures, has increased the avalanche risk to extreme near some steeper terrain in the New York Mountain area, where Capt. Craig Button and the A-10 Thunderbolt he was flying are believed buried under spring snow.

“It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack,” said one of the searchers, Steve Jewitt of Boulder.

Button and his $9 million plane haven’t been seen since April 2.

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