ELKO – Searchers from the Elko County Sheriff’s Office and the Civil Air Patrol were out for the fourth day Monday attempting to find a small aircraft that went down near the Ruby Mountains.
Undersheriff Ron Supp said the pilot, a 26-year-old from Mississippi, contacted the airport around 8:30 p.m. Thursday and said his plane was icing up.
There were strong wind gusts in the area at the time.
The twin-engine Piper was reportedly transporting aerial photography equipment from California to Salt Lake City. No passengers were in the plane.
The Nevada Department of Emergency Management contacted the sheriff’s office about the plane Thursday night. The incident occurred just before an officer-involved shooting in Spring Creek, in which a man shot and killed his wife and was killed by officers.
A ground search was launched but turned up no sightings.
Searchers scoured the vicinity of the Ruby Marshes and Harrison Pass on Friday and believed they had spotted the plane in the Ruby Marshes but that report turned out to be false.
“Right now we’re speculating that he might be further east,” Supp said Monday morning.
Several parties have been helping with the search, according to Sgt. Nick Czegledi. They include Reach air ambulance, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge and volunteers.
The sheriff’s new drone team also has been involved with the search.
Czegledi said winds on Thursday night were measured at 60 knots, which is roughly 70 miles per hour.
It also may have been snowing at the time, and Czegledi said the pilot may have climbed above 9,000 feet to avoid it.