Law enforcement officials and volunteers from Marshall and Etowah counties continue to search for a plane reported missing in Etowah County Thursday.
According to a spokesperson for the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office, a Zenith STOL CH750 disappeared from radar at about 12:45 p.m. Thursday. The plane’s last known location was in the Aurora community of Etowah County, near Boaz.
The two-seater experimental airplane is believed to have one person aboard.
Breonna Cole, of the Etowah County Emergency Management Agency, said the plane took off from Calhoun, Ga., headed to Tupelo, Miss.
The plane allegedly made it to Tupelo, circled the airport but never landed and headed back east.
“The Sheriff’s Office received a call at about 8:15 p.m. Thursday,” Cole said. “They started a search and continued into the night. They resumed the search this morning at about 6:30 a.m.”
The search is centered around a three-mile area near Aurora Lake, along Lawson Gap Road and Baker Gap Road.
Helicopters from the Marshall and Etowah Sheriff’s offices and ALEA joined in the search, along with volunteers and deputies utilizing ATVs and trucks.
“The problem is it is a very heavily wooded area,” Cole said.
Steve Guthrie, Assistant Chief Deputy of the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, said nearby homeowners reported hearing a plane in distress Thursday.
“It is a twin-engine type airplane,” he said. “Some people in the area reported hearing it come over their houses having some type of engine trouble.”
No one reported seeing the plane crash.
Boaz City Fire Department assisted in the search for three hours Thursday utilizing the department’s drone outfitted with infrared cameras to find “hot spots,” such as the plane’s engines. Searchers found a heat signature, but it turned out to be a campfire.
Cole said the search would continue throughout the day Friday, until the plane is found, or it becomes too dark or poor weather conditions move into the area.