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2 BYU-Idaho students on missing plane

By Staff and AP
Published On: Dec 24 2013 05:25:00 PM CST
Updated On: Sep 04 2014 02:09:34 PM CDT
Amber Smith and Jonathan Norton

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Amber Smith, left, and Jonathan Norton

BOISE, Idaho -

Two Brigham Young University-Idaho students were among the five people on a plane that disappeared Sunday in the central Idaho backcountry.

A BYU-Idaho spokesman confirmed Tuesday that Amber Smith of San Jose, Calif., and her fiancee, Jonathan Norton of Sun Prairie, Wis., were in the missing single-engine Beech Bonanza.

The Bureau of Homeland Security said the pilot was Amber's father, Dale Smith. Dale Smith's son, Daniel Smith, and daughter-in-law, Sheree Smith, were also aboard.

The plane was flying from Baker City, Ore., to Butte, Mont., and lost contact with air traffic controllers near the tiny mountain town of Yellow Pine.

The search is focused on an area near a backcountry airstrip just outside the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.

On Tuesday, a weak emergency locator transmitter signal was picked up about 1 mile south of the airstrip by one of the search aircraft. Search and rescue personnel were attempting to hone in on that signal, the Idaho Transportation Department said.

"We are hopeful that the break in the weather will allow us to locate the missing aircraft," said incident commander Lt. Dan Smith in a news release.

The Associated Press reports Dale Smith was a founder of SerialTek, a San Jose-based software company.

SerialTek co-founder Rand Kriech said Dale Smith was an experienced pilot.

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