Plane with four on board missing in Georgia mountains

Reuters News
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Posted: May 31, 2011 5:33 PM

ATLANTA (Reuters) - A ground and air search continued on Tuesday for a private airplane carrying four passengers, which vanished after taking off from a North Georgia airport a day earlier.

The plane, a Beech Bonanza V-35, left the Gilmer County Airport at 10:30 a.m. Monday on a sightseeing trip and has not been seen since, said Paige Joyner, spokeswoman for the Civil Air Patrol, a volunteer organization leading the search.

The passengers are residents of Gilmer County, a mountainous, heavily wooded area of North Georgia.

Volunteers and law enforcement officers searched in the air and on the ground for any sign of the plane, said Joyner.

"We're looking for any type of debris, any type of scarring on trees," Joyner said. "The terrain is very mountainous, very dense."

"It's like looking for a needle in a haystack."

(Reporting by David Beasley; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Jerry Norton)