US software firm owner, family killed in plane crash: Report

Authorities in Idaho have found the wreckage of a plane that disappeared from radar on December 1.

PTI| Last Updated: Jan 12, 2014, 16:54 PM IST

Los Angeles: The president of a US software company and four members of his family are presumed dead in a plane crash after the wreckage has been found nearly seven weeks after the accident in Idaho, media reports said today.
Authorities in Idaho have found the wreckage of a plane that disappeared from radar on December 1.

No one appears to have survived the crash, said Lt Dan Smith from the Valley County Sheriff`s Office said in a statement.

There was no mention of bodies found. Efforts to recover the wreckage are on hold due to severe weather, CNN reported.

Dale Smith had left Baker City, Oregon, with his son, his son`s wife, his daughter and her fiance. Smith founded SerialTek, a San Jose, California, company that develops hardware and software data storage tools.
His wife and another daughter had stayed behind.

The Smiths were in Dale Smith`s single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza en route to Butte, Montana. As they were flying over central Idaho at an altitude of 9,000 feet, the 51-year-old executive reported engine trouble and asked controllers in Salt Lake City for the coordinates of the Johnson Creek Air Strip.

They never made it to the Johnson Creek Air Strip.

Days after the plane went down, search and rescue teams had detected a weak signal from an emergency locater transmitter that allowed authorities to narrow the search to the area south of Johnson Creek, near Yellow Pine, where the plane was believed to have gone down.

About 40 search and rescue teams, some using snowmobiles, combed that area.

Repeated attempts to fly into the area of the last known contact, about a mile east of the Johnson Creek Air Strip, were unsuccessful because of poor weather.

Dellon Smith, brother of Dale, and seven men searching for the downed plane found the wreckage in thigh-deep in snow in the Idaho wilderness.

"You just want to run to it as quickly as you can," Dellon, a 38-year-old Alaskan bush pilot, said yesterday. "It was the closest I could get to my brother.

"You wanted to get to it as fast as you could and put your hands on it like you`re giving him a hug," he was quoted as saying by San Jose Mercury News.