press release from the search team - 10/29 10am CDT

From: Fremont County Sheriff's Office
Friday, October 29, 2010
Contact: Sgt. Ryan Lee, 307-332-1021 or 332-1028

UPDATE: Search for missing aircraft at 9:00 A.M. M.T.

(Lander, WY) – The search for a single-engine fixed wing aircraft missing over the Wind River Mountains of northwest Wyoming with four members of a Minnesota family on board resumed at first light Friday morning.

Air and ground search crews are concentrating on a nine-square mile area east of Wyoming’s tallest mountain peak, the last known location of the aircraft, which disappeared Monday on a flight from Jackson Hole to Riverton en route to the Twin Cities.

With a new weather front moving in, search resources today will include aerial searching with three helicopters including an Air Force Huey based at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, and three ground crews, said Jason Aanestad, the Incident Command Center’s Operations Chief.

On Thursday a specially equipped fixed wing aircraft flew over the search area numerous times in an attempt to pinpoint a possible Emergency Transponder signal (ELT). The plane, from Park County, WY, Search and Rescue, was able to confirm a weak signal, but it was unable to pinpoint the exact location of the transmission.

“This is a very mountainous area and signals such as those from an emergency transponder bounce off of rocks, cliffs and peaks, making detection difficult,” said Incident Commander Chip Williams. He said ground crews would be inserted into the area with hand held devices in an attempt to pinpoint the source of the transmissions.

“A weak but steady ELT signal has been monitored coming from the general search area, but we have been unable to locate the exact location of the transmission, and that is the focus of today’s search,” said Detective Sergeant Ryan Lee of the Fremont County Sheriff’s Department.

“An ELT transponder of the kind in the missing aircraft may be activated manually, or automatically

in a manner similar to the deployment of an air bag in a sudden impact,” Lee said. “Search crews had been picking up an unknown transmission, and yesterday we were able to confirm that those transmissions are coming from the search area. We have reason to believe the signal confirmed yesterday is, in all probability, coming from the downed aircraft. There are no other missing aircraft reported in the area.”

The next report will be issued this afternoon.

Dear Ginger and family,

I just wanted you to know that so many people are praying for all of you at this time.

I can assure you that the search and rescue individuals from here are hard core and will do all they can to help locate your family and bring them safely back to you.

If you or any members of your family need a place to stay out here, you are more than welcome to use our home or vehicles.

If there is any thing that I can help you with, don't hesitate to contact me.

Loni Kaufman
Loni4865@qwestoffice.net
Alcova Lake/Casper Wyoming

wyodak_pilot
I am a pilot based out of Casper. I know and have trained with many of the people conducting the search, they are very dedicated and I know that they are working very hard to locate your family. I have never met your husband or sons, but I must say that since the aircraft has been reported overdue I have felt a deep connection with him and have had a few sIeepless nights here. These thoughts stay with me day and night and I am hopeful for the best outcome for your family. I have climbed and hiked in the Winds for years so some of this time is spent looking at topo maps and data. I wish there was more that I could physically do, but know that IC's are using the resources available to them for the best possible probability of a location. As you are aware, the fact that there is an ELT signal is going to be a huge benefit to the search teams. Also if there is anything that my family can do for you here in Wyoming, I hope that you will call upon us.
Your family is in our thoughts. J&J, Casper, WY- wyodakpilot@gmail

All of our family and friends in Jackson are praying for their speedy rescue. All the Minnesota crowd here in LA also sending our thoughts to Ginger and family.

This was amazing news. We praise the lord<3

I am so glade to hear finally a signal is being picked up Keep praying that they are found.

I am the parent of a Junior football player at Southwest and had the honor of meeting Ginger at a game, I also have a daughter at Anthony Middle School. My family and I are praying very hard for the safe return of the boys and their dad. I have read that your strength is your faith and friends and what a wonderful way to have that wrapped around you now.
Love the Knight Family