KELSO, Wash. (AP) _ A former publisher whose newspaper won the Pulitzer Prize in the early 1980s remained missing today after his helicopter vanished during a weekend flight.

Witnesses said Ted Natt, 58, took off in his two-seat helicopter about 8:30 p.m. Saturday from Oysterville, on Washington's Long Beach Peninsula, where he had attended a memorial service. His family reported him overdue early Sunday.

Authorities said the search, which was to resume today, was complicated by the fact Natt did not file a flight plan for the 60-mile trip.

Although he has more than 20 years' experience flying fixed-wing aircraft, Natt has had a helicopter license for only three months, officials said.

Natt was publisher of The Daily News of Longview, Wash., when nearby Mount St. Helens erupted in May 1980. The paper won a Pulitzer for its coverage.

In June, Westmedia Corp., a publishing group owned by the Natt family and employees of The Daily News, sold its holdings to Indiana-based Howard Publications Inc. The sale, which ended 76 years of ownership by the McClelland-Natt family, involved the Longview newspaper and three weeklies. The Longview paper has a circulation of around 25,000.

Natt, who had been publisher since 1977, stepped down when the sale was completed.