Search crews combed the northern end of the Great Salt Lake on Sunday after a small plane and its crew were reported missing Friday night.
The search for the small airplane — a red and white Cessna 172, tail number N4395R — was scaled back Sunday evening, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.
By Sunday evening, every area had been searched by air at least once, and in some spots, multiple times, so the Civil Air Patrol and the Department of Public Safety helicopter crews were called off, according to the release.
Volunteers alongside search and rescue, Division of Natural Resources and Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office crews will continue searching the ground for the airplane and its passengers, the release states.
Pilot Denny Mansell, 71, and passenger Peter Ellis, 74, took off in the plane from Ogden Hinckley Airport about 3:30 p.m. Friday and were heading to the see trains at the Golden Spike National Historic Site, according to the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office.
The pair was scheduled to return to Ogden about 4:30 p.m. A family member of one of the men called 911 about 9:20 p.m. to report that the men had not returned.
Sheriff’s deputies and a Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter scoured the Promontory area Friday night until early Saturday. A search and rescue team was dispatched at sunrise Saturday, and other groups joined them in the search throughout the day, according to the release.
Searchers have requested that anyone who attended the Steam Festival at the Golden Spike Historical Site on Friday afternoon and may have evidence of the plane — such as photographs — email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The plane likely flew through that area between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Photos or information may help crews narrow their search area.