Plane that had missing Seattle man, brother on board found crashed near Yellowstone

by: The Associated Press Updated:

Crews are searching for an overdue aircraft in the North Fork area of the Absaroka Mountains. Two brothers were on board the plane, and one is from Seattle.
CODY, Wyo. —

A search and rescue team has found the single-engine plane that had been missing with a Seattle man and his brother on board.

The condition of the occupants is not yet known.

Park County sheriff's officials say the 1963 Mooney M20C was last seen Tuesday departing Yellowstone Regional Airport in Cody. On board were 84-year-old Robert L. Zimmerman of Huntsville, Alabama, and 86-year-old Ward H. Zimmerman of Seattle, Washington.

 The brothers were headed from Cody to Twin Falls, Idaho, and from there to Seattle.

 Radar last detected the plane about seven miles outside the Yellowstone east entrance in northwest Wyoming. Poor weather prevented an aerial search but searchers were on the ground in that area Sunday.

 The search began after police in Idaho on Saturday asked Park County officials to check for the plane at the Cody airport.

Using a helicopter provided by Sky Aviation based out of Worland, the missing aircraft was found at 9:19 a.m. Monday. 

The aircraft is on the eastern slope of Howell Mountain in Wyoming  settled in a steep ravine with a large cornice of snow situated above.  It has heavy front end damage and one wing has been torn from the plane.

The helicopter was able to land two search and rescue members on top of Howell Mountain directly above the wreckage. 

Tests performed by the team showed that the snowpack directly above the wreckage was too unstable and that the risk of an avalanche was too high to try to reach the plane.

A Black Hawk helicopter has been requested and is en route to Cody, Wyoming, from the Air National Guard base in Cheyenne.  Once it reaches the scene, it’s possible that rescuers may be lowered to the wreckage to determine if the men survived.