Source AP ©

Wreckage of missing plane carrying skydivers found

Rescuers found the wreckage of a plane that disappeared Sunday evening with nine skydivers and a pilot aboard. No survivors had been reported by late Monday, although one body was discovered. The body's recovery was disclosed by Mike Fergus, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman who also said no survivors had been found by late Monday night.

The missing Cessna 208 Grand Caravan left Star, Idaho, near Boise, Sunday evening en route to Shelton, Washington, northwest of Olympia. The plane was returning from a skydiving meet in Idaho when it crashed.

The aircraft was found about 7:40 p.m. PDT (0240 GMT) and searchers were able to verify by serial number that it was the missing aircraft.

When members of the Tacoma Mountain Rescue Team came upon the wreckage they found that the tail section was separated from the rest of the plane, Wilson said. It has not been located. Family and friends of those aboard were notified, Wilson said. The names of those aboard have not been released.

Based on radar transmissions and a hunter's report of seeing a plane flying low Sunday evening and then hearing a crash, the search was focused on a steep, densely forested area near White Pass, about 45 miles (72.4 kilometers) west of Yakima.

The search was centered in a relatively small area of 5-10 square miles (13-26 square kilometers) along the north fork of the Tieton River.

One man at a Red Cross center at White Pass said his 30-year-old son was aboard the plane. He displayed a family photo of the young man skydiving with a brother and sister. "He worked hard and he played hard - we just want to find him," said the father, who did not give his name.

Elaine Harvey, co-owner of the skydiving company Skydive Snohomish, told The Seattle Times that nine of the 10 aboard were either employees of her business or else licensed skydivers who considered Snohomish their "home drop zone."

Skydive Snohomish operates a training school and offers skydiving flights at Harvey Field in Snohomish County, about 20 miles (30 kilometers) north of Seattle. Skydive Snohomish had nothing to do with the flight to Idaho or the event held there, Harvey said.

"These people were beloved friends," she told the Yakima Herald-Republic. Harvey did not return telephone messages from The Associated Press seeking additional comment. The plane was registered to Kapowsin Air Sports of Shelton, south of Seattle near Olympia.

Geoff Farrington, Kapowsin's co-owner, said the family-owned company had never before lost a plane. He also said the plane had never experienced mechanical problems. The single-engine plane was built in 1994, according to FAA records.

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