Search Under Way for Missing Plane in Southern Montana

HELENA and BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Authorities are looking for a small airplane that took off from Sheridan, Wyoming at 11 o'clock yesterday morning but did not land at its final destination. Montana Disaster and Emergency Services duty officer Monique Lay says the Cessna aircraft left Sheridan, but did not arrive in Laurel, Montana, near Billings, after about a two-hour flight.

Lay says she was told by Montana aeronautics officials that two
people, a male pilot from the Billings area and a male passenger, were aboard. The plane is privately owned.

Yellowstone County Undersheriff Seth Weston indicated that searchers are doing "everything [they] can to find" the plane, and Weston was quick to point out that they don't know what happened to the plane and "that he hasn't landed it somewhere."

Search efforts Tuesday included ground and air crews. The Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office was asked to join the search just before 5 p.m. and an airplane crew had to land a short time later because darkness and threatening weather made it too dangerous to continue flying.

Ground crews' search efforts were focused across three counties: Yellowstone and Big Horn in Montana and Sheridan County in Wyoming. Searchers consider it an active search and will resume their efforts this morning.

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