ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ A single-engine plane carrying six people vanished in western Alaska on Tuesday during a flight that began in heavy snow, authorities said.
The Cessna 207 left Bethel shortly after noon Tuesday, bound for three small communities on the state’s western coast: Nightmute, Tooksook Bay and Tununak, the Alaska State Troopers said.
Alaska State Trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson said the plane never arrived at any of those locations, about 550 miles west of Anchorage.
The troopers were notified by Grant Aviation in Anchorage at 5:30 p.m. that the flight was missing.
Another plane in the area reported receiving a brief transmission from an emergency locator beacon at about 6 p.m., but the signal lasted for only about 30 seconds. The signal was picked up about 30 miles north of the missing plane’s destination.
A Blackhawk helicopter from the Army National Guard base in Bethel, the Civil Air Patrol and four planes from Grant Aviation were searching late Tuesday, while snow machines were being used to look from Nightmute and Tooksook Bay.
By late evening, the temperature had dipped to about 5 below zero and there were reports of scattered snow. The search was expected to continue through the night, Wilkinson said.