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National Guard joins search for missing plane, family

By Jeff Finley | Posted - Nov 30th, 2012 @ 11:59pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah National Guard has joined the search for an airplane that went missing while flying from California to Wyoming on Sunday, Nov. 25.

The Utah Wing Air Patrol has been searching for the plane since Monday with the Civil Air Patrol Wings from Wyoming and Colorado.

The Utah National Guard's 171st medical evacuation unit, with its UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, is capable of doing high-altitude hoists and lands on any peak in Utah. The Blackhawk also has night-vision capabilities.

The single engine Piper Archer II took off Sunday from California en route to Gillette, Wyo., according to the Civil Air Patrol. The plane made a stop in Fillmore to refuel just before noon, according to the statement.

The Campbell County Sheriff's Department in Wyoming identified the missing pilot as Matthew Ahrens, 37, and the passengers as Trista Meyer, 34, and her 9-year-old daughter, Shyann Lenz, all from Gillette, Wyo.

Authorities were alerted to the situation when Lenz's father called to report the little girl was overdue.

Anyone with information about the missing plane is asked to call local law enforcement agencies or the Civil Air Patrol at 801-533-5456.

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