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Weather stalls search for plane

KOOSKIA, Idaho – Low clouds and rainstorms Tuesday prevented searchers from looking for a small private plane missing in north central Idaho’s rugged Clearwater River drainage.

The single-engine Piper 180 aircraft with only the pilot aboard left Jackson Hole, Wyo., on Monday afternoon bound for Pasco, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Mike Fergus said Tuesday in Seattle.

Initial reports indicated the plane was headed for Lewiston. The flight plan did not indicate any planned stop in Lewiston, Fergus said.

The plane is registered to a Paul C. Herr of Pasco. His wife, Christine, confirmed her husband’s plane was missing in a Tuesday interview with the Tri-City Herald.

At about 4 p.m. Monday, authorities said the pilot reported engine trouble and then engine failure to air traffic controllers in Seattle. The plane was directed to land at an airstrip near Kooskia, about 20 miles from its location and 70 miles southeast of Lewiston. A few minutes later, radio and radar contact with the pilot was lost.

Idaho State Transportation Department officials said five planes and one helicopter had been ready to search Tuesday, but the weather kept them grounded.


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