Small plane with 4 on board missing in Alaska


by Associated Press

Posted on August 22, 2010 at 1:34 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 23 at 11:54 AM



ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The search resumed Monday for a small plane carrying a pilot and three National Park Service workers that disappeared in southwest Alaska.

Katmai National Park Superintendent Ralph Moore said he is hoping the floatplane landed Saturday in a cove to wait for better weather, but he's concerned there's been no radio transmission.

Aircraft have been searching between Swikshak Lagoon and the floatplane's destination in King Salmon, about 285 miles southwest of Anchorage.

The park service has identified the passengers as Mason McLeod, 26, Neal Spradlin, 28, and Spradlin's 20-year-old brother Seth. The pilot is Marco Alletto, whose family lives in Italy. His age and Alaska residence were not immediately available.

The workers were on their way to rebuild an old ranger station.

The plane was reported missing after failing to arrive in King Salmon as expected Saturday, according to the Coast Guard, which sent a helicopter and an HC-130 plane to help with the search.

Park superintendent Ralph Moore said the plane left Swikshak Lagoon at 1:45 p.m. Saturday for a flight that takes about an hour. Two other rangers at the site left in a Cessna 206 about 15 minutes later and arrived safely in King Salmon, but the plane flew 500 feet above the ground much of the way because of deteriorating weather conditions.

National Park Service spokesman John Quinley said Monday's search effort will be similar to Sunday's with numerous aircraft looking for the missing plane. A helicopter also will conduct a search stretching the entire Katmai coastline.

Monday's emphasis will be on areas that have not been well-searched before, he said.

Fog early Monday was delaying some planes from beginning the search.