KUSA - The Colorado Civil Air Patrol has suspended its search for a missing Cessna 210 that departed Erie airport and then disappeared.
The plane was headed for Utah when family member reported that it was overdue.
The pilot, Quentin Aschoff, 67, of Bend, Oregon, did not file a flight plan and the aircraft did not have an operating transponder but radar was able to track the aircraft until just east of Grant, Colorado.
Civil Air Patrol aircrews flew the area last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday but did not find anything. Inclement weather and high winds prevented aircrews from flying on Friday and the mission was suspended by the AFRCC late Friday afternoon, April 6.
The search concentrated around the ridges north and northwest of South Park, the routes between Kenosha Pass and Interstate 70 at Silverton and Copper Mountain.
Family members had shared that Aschoff intended to follow I-70 but, according to radar, after reaching the Loveland Pass he diverted east and began following U.S. Highway 285. Cell phone signals ceased about 30 minutes after the last radar contact.
Aschoff’s family said his plan was to follow I-70, but he instead reached Loveland Pass and turned east. His cell signal stopped 30 minutes later.
The Civil Air Patrol says it's possible they will find the plane in a couple of months when it warms up and the snow melts.
"It's the hardest decision to call off a search and rescue mission," 9NEWS Aviation expert Greg Feith said.
Planes vanishing in our mountains is not extremely uncommon.
"We do have at least one possibly even two a year in our general region," which Feith said includes Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and into Arizona.
Scouring mountains for any signs of a plane is riddled with complications.
If a pilot is flying below 15,000 feet, their location may not pop up on radar because of the mountains.