Search for missing plane with two aboard in snowy Sierra is called off

The search in the snowy Sierra for the missing plane near Truckee with two aboard has been called off after a week.

“We are extremely disappointed in the outcome of this search,” said Civil Air Patrol Incident Commander Maj. Shane Terpstra. “We always hope for a fast resolution with missing aircraft searches, but rapidly changing weather compounded with fresh snow worked against us this entire search.”

The Civil Air Patrol called off the search Monday for the plane in heavily wooded and snow-covered terrain 18 miles northeast of Truckee. The Sierra County Sheriff’s Office search efforts were suspended Sunday night, pending new information on a more exact location where the plane went down.

The Socata TB-20 Trinidad departed the Truckee-Tahoe Airport on April 17. Authorities said Mark Richard and his wife, Brenda, never reached their destination of Petaluma Municipal Airport, according to the Associated Press.

The Civil Air Patrol efforts included aerial and ground search. CAP crews also photographed the area from the sky, logging more than 60 flight hours.

CAP volunteers on the ground reviewed more than 8,000 high-resolution digital images of the search area, photos that were captured with wing-mounted cameras on CAP search planes.

More than 117 CAP volunteers and 15 CAP aircraft crews participated in the search. Also helping out were aircraft crews from the California Highway Patrol and the California National Guard.

The search was conducted in support of the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff thanked those who participated in the search, including the department’s own search-and-rescue volunteer team.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews