Weather hampers search for missing plane

Bad weather hampered efforts to find a missing plane off the Brookings coast, just as authorities said they’re closing in on finding the aircraft.

The plane carrying John Belnap, his son Max and his friend Ryan Merker left the Brookings airport late Monday night and haven’t been found.

All three are presumed dead after debris from the plane was found on beaches near Brookings.
On Thursday, search crews found an oil spot off Lone Ranch Beach, which lead them to believe they were closer than ever to finding a missing plane. That was until wet, foggy and windy weather on Friday delayed search efforts in the water.

“If it was nicer, i’d be able to fly around a little bit but as you can see behind me it’s not conducive to flying,” said John Ward, sheriff for Curry County.

Crews from the Curry, Josephine and Klamath County Sheriff’s offices are all searching the coast, using a Klamath County boat with “side sonar scanning” capabilities. Divers and helicopters are standing by until further notice.

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